Hold the ‘shrooms, please.

Our uphill neighbor, Silvio, stopped by to discuss drainage issues after today’s heavy rain. Silvio is a long-time local resident who is known variously for his real estate career, his culinary interests, his expertise in mushroom foraging, and most recently – his foray into chicken-keeping. As I heard the story, a next-door neighbor wanted chickens but her husband nixed the idea (once again, the CE shines here!) so Silvio offered to keep the flock on his property. They share somewhere between 15-20 hens, and one happy rooster, whose turbo-charged crow we can easily hear a quarter mile away (no, it doesn’t bother us, and yes, I wish I could have one…)

I took Silvio on the “chicken tour” and he promptly made friends with Autumn.

Silvio and Autumn

He also did a brief mushroom tour of our yard, and came across a patch of what he identified as highly lethal amanita phalloides or “Death Cap” mushrooms. According to the web site americanmushrooms.com , no mushroom is worthier of fear than the terribly poisonous Death Cap…this single, widespread species is solely responsible for the majority of fatal and otherwise serious mushroom poisoning cases, worldwide as well as in North America.” Indeed, Silvio related that a friend of his died from eating these mushrooms.

illustration of the "Death Cap" at http://www.huh.harvard.edu

They are rare in most of North America, but common in the San Francisco Bay area and elsewhere in California where it is found under live oak and cork trees. Here’s what ours looked like:

Our very own "Death Caps"

Suffice it to say, we won’t be offering any homegrown mushrooms anytime soon. I do, however, hope to visit Silvio’s chickens and get a picture of that rooster!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Poultry, Friends, Oddities and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hold the ‘shrooms, please.

  1. pollo amiga says:

    He is the nicest man! He also bakes his own dog biscuits.

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