Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Rain in Spain

Does it even rain in Spain? When I was there back in Sancho Panza's day, it was hot. In the Pacific Northwest, however, it does rain. A lot. We had industrial strength rain last night, all night. The bummer part? "I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wanderin', where it will go..."

The good part? These Shaggy Mane mushrooms pop up when it rains a lot after a dry spell. Coprinus comatus is also known as Lawyer's Wig and Inky Cap. The young nubbin ones are delectable in an omelette with Dubliner cheese, tomatoes and sprouts. (Duh, use caution-don't pick wild mushrooms unless you know for certain!) My friend, Dr. Ben Hunt says that the most common cause of poisoning in Seattle is from mushrooms. Gosh, way to rain on my own parade. Back to rain:

Newts like rain. They hide under boulders. At certain times of the year they cross our road and get squished. Sad. They usually move soooo slowwwly.

Great, I just read that the Tarucha granulosa newt is one of the most toxic animals known to science. Perfect. The toxin from the skin of one of those newts could kill 25,00 mice. Or one doufus artist. They examined fifty different predators of newts (frogs, kingfishers, herons etc.) and found that they had all died from eating the newt. I don't think the guy above is the assassin type. But wash your hands after handling.

Another good thing about the rain is to go inside, wash your hands, sit by the fire, and read a good book while it does its thing outside.


Anonymous said...

He's a cute little fellow! Especially those big eyes and right-angled legs.

In Scotland it's the west that gets all the rain. There have been several times when it's been gloriously sunny in Edinburgh and I've hopped on the train and gone west to Glasgow. About half-way there, the clouds cover the sky and by the time I arrive in Glasgow, it's raining. On days like that, if I'm travelling all the way home, by the time I get to the sea it's usually shrouded in dense fog and I wonder if Ireland is still out there, and hasn't floated away.

We call those mushrooms Shaggy Inkcaps - at least with them you can be fairly sure they are what they are! I always mean to try writing with their ink - but there's never enough of it.

steven said...

cool post richard - mushrooms, newts, and rain. i love them all although i've never risked picking wild mushrooms - i'm just not that knowledgeable - so i rely on someone else's expertise. rain is a good sensorial wrap-around for me. have a peaceful day. steven

MollyMom103 said...

I love the mushrooms popping up in the yard. Makes me happy. I don't quite know why though. My mom knew safe mushrooms, I do not. Sigh. I miss the days when everything in the world had a name.

I love the newt. It makes me feel that world has secrets and that a good rain might make them come out.


Amanda said...

I've never seen mushrooms like that before. I live in a hot dry part of Australia so mushrooms are rare. Thanks for sharing.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Kitty, I loved your pics of fungi; really gorgeous. You have an interesting pas de deux between Scotland and Ireland. You paint quite the pictures with your words as well.
And what a cool idea to try the ink from the older shaggies; I must try that as well.

Steven, I also don't just pick any mushrooms. And I like the sensorial wrap. It must rooted in our wild and wooley ancestors, the need to get out of the elements and seek warmth.

Molly, I agree. They make me smile because I always envision wee mice or grasshoppers sheltering under the canopies of mushrooms. And faeries sit on top to read ancient texts. You are right to say that the rain brings forth secrets.

Hi Amanda. For sure mushrooms would not be happy in such a toasty place. But hello, mangoes and fruit stamping! Port Douglas looks to be one of the most mind blowingest places imaginable. Wow! Lucky you. Although, um...did you say crocodiles?

Miss jane said...