Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
I come from a zealous mushroom-hunting family. Here are the rules of harvesting wild mushrooms:
1. DO NOT EAT ANY MUSHROOM YOU CANNOT POSITIVELY IDENTIFY AS TO GENUS AND SPECIES.
There are a few other rules but they are unimportant compared to that one.
There are essentially five kinds of mushrooms.
A. Edible and delicious
B. Edible but not very good
C. Will make you sick but you'll recover after a bad night of gastrointestinal problems
D. Delicious and fatal
E. Will give you hallucinations
The mushrooms in Class A are rather few. In most areas there will be five to maybe ten species. The mushrooms in Classes B and C make up the vast bulk of species you will encounter. Class D is a very few species, all in the genus Amanita. They are big, meaty, handsome, and common. They are reputedly very good eating. They look superficially similar to some very edible mushrooms, if you don't know what to look for. They kill people every single year. The reason they kill is that there are no symptoms until you are already in organ failure, by which time it is too late to save you. Some of their common names are Death Cap, Destroying Angel, Death Agaric.
There are not very many hallucinogenic mushrooms but of course they are sought after. The best one is Psilocybin, but they are what mushroom hunters call LBMs ("little brown mushrooms") and there are many species that look very similar. Back in the 1970's when I lived on a hippie farm people were always snooping hopefully around in the woods for them but I can't say they ever found any.
Many mushrooms grow in manure. Those in your photo do not look edible.
Short horse lover