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Fall Fungi - a Witches Brew

Author:

Yvonne writes about and photographs the flora and fauna of Louisiana, sharing knowledge she learned through study and personal experience.

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Mushroom Photographs and Witches Brew Recipes

No witches brew is complete without a mushroom or two and down here in south Louisiana, we have plenty. This witch enjoys photographing the colorful fungi that pops up after a good rain. I think that the fall mushrooms are the most colorful and would be perfect for any evil witch's brew. The shrooms and toadstools pictured here were chosen for their eye appeal and most are probably not edible (in fact, some may be poisonous), so don't try to pop them into your cauldron.

We also enjoy cooking and Halloween is one of our favorite holidays so we've gathered some tantalizing recipes for Witches Brew. Some of them include edible mushrooms as an ingredient.

Vintage Witch is public domain

Witches Brew

Wrinkled prunes, mushrooms, motor oil, too.

Stir them in my witches' brew.

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo.

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo.

Hap Palmer, Witches Brew

Mushrooms and Toadstools

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fall-fungi-witches-brew

This witch goes gathering mushrooms and other fungi in the dark forest by the river, but she takes no basket. She gathers images of the fungi she seeks.

For centuries mushrooms that mysteriously appear, have been associated with magic. The Fairy Rings that grace our lawns conjure stories of the dance of the little winged beings during the night.

Because of the fact that many mushrooms are poisonous and have resulted in deaths, in olden times they were sometimes associated with evil and witches. Today, only well educated and trained mushroom gatherers should attempt to harvest edible mushrooms from the wild. There are too many poisonous varieties that look very much like non-poisonous, edible ones.

However that shouldn't stop anyone from enjoying the beauty of the color, patterns and textures of fungi.


Wicked Witch of the West Costume -
This deluxe costume includes a full length gown and tulle petticoat, to create an impressively wicked look.

Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America

A complete guide to most of the species of mushrooms and fungi growing in North America with full color photographs of many specimens. Good descriptions.

Fall Fungi

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These tiny, almost transparent mushrooms, which I believe are in the Marasmius family look like little Halloween ghosts, all lined up in a row.

The cool wet weather of Autumn brings forth a flush of mushrooms in south Louisiana. Actually, the mushroom is like the fruit of the fungi which disperses spores that develop into more fungi. Most of the fungi consists of underground fibers which break down leaves and other vegetable matter in the soil.

Fungi is an integral part of the ecosystem and without the thousands of different kinds, working to produce rich soil in which to plant our food crops, we would go hungry. So even though a mushroom may be a toadstool, it is a valuable asset to the environment.

Edible Mushrooms Guide

A good guide to edible mushrooms. But training with a knowledgeable human guide is still necessary.

Monster Mushrooms

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This species of mushroom is probably the most unusual one on our property. We have tentatively identified it as Gloephyllum sepiarium a member of the Daedalia family. It grows under or from the dead roots of Pine trees.

It starts as a weirdly shaped pale yellow-orange blob that looks like a cross between the blob and a creamsicle. It develops into a swirl of orange, red, brown, tan and cream shapes.

Most of them are an irregular oval shaped with an attractive spiral swirl in the center.

Orange Swirl Mushroom

Birth of an Amanita

Amanita emerges

Amanita emerges

The Amanita family of mushrooms is filled with poisonous and non-poisonous varieties and some of them are gorgeous. The bright red, orange and yellows are perfect for the fall of the year and Halloween.

When an Amanita first emerges it looks like some sort of bald red baby coming out of an egg.

The persistent, white, saclike cup is one of the identification marks of the Amanita family.

These Caesar's Mushroom, Amanita caesarea, are one of the most attractive and colorful fungi in our woods.

Mushroom Amanita caesarea

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More Fall Fungi

I'm not sure about the identification of all of these, but I did the best I could from my experience and my trusty Mushrooms of North America book.

The red ones are in the Russula family and they dot the forest floor from summer through late fall.

Red Russula Mushroom

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This one looks like a brain to me and since it comes out in the fall, through Halloween, that makes it all the more odd. Actually the common name is Cauliflower Fungi, Sparassis crispa, and we are lucky to find it on our property as it is infrequent.

Cauliflower Fungus

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Fairy's Mushroom

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Al and I have been photographing nature for over 35 years. For many years we used the Canon AE-1 that we received as a wedding present, but several years ago, we went digital. Today we use the Canon Powershot S series cameras. I have a Powershot S5IS and he uses a Powershot S3IS. They are not expensive cameras, but are very versatile, with a 12X optical zoom (expanding to 48X when multiplied by the 4X digital zoom) and a macro and super macro feature.

I used the macro feature for many of the mushroom shots. The super macro will focus from an inch away, so it's great for tiny things. These cameras also have an anti-wobble feature which makes it easy to get good close up photographs without a tripod.

Canon Powershot Cameras

I love my Powershot S5IS. It is so versatile and easy to use. I can take everything from tiny bugs and birds to beautiful landscapes and everything in between. Recently, I bought Powershot SX50 which is even better than the 8MP S5IS. It is a 12 MP camera with a 50X optical zoom.

Canon PowerShot SX50 Digital Camera

Amanita Mushroom Cluster

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When I go "on a shoot" after wet weather, I wear long sleeves and use Deet. When shooting mushrooms and other small plant-like things, it's best to get down on their level. The best time to photograph nature is in the morning before 10:00 a.m. and in the afternoon after 2:00 p.m. when the light is right. I try to avoid using the flash if at all possible. The photos have more color if taken with the natural light.


Pink Mushroom By River

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Witches Brew - Hap Palmer

The old song from the 80's, with all the ingredients. I've included the lyrics below if you'd like to sing along.

Hap Palmer's Witches Brew

Witches Brew Song

Witches Brew by Hap Palmer is a lower elementary Halloween classic.

Lyrics to Witches Brew

by Hap Palmer

I know you're trying to sing along. Here are the lyrics so you can keep up.

fall-fungi-witches-brew

Dead leaves, seaweed, rotten eggs, too.

Stir them in my witches' brew.

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo.

Spider web, moldy bread, mucky mud, too.

Stir them in my witches' brew.

I got magic! Alakazamakazoo

ooo - My witches' brew - ooo

What's it gonna do to you?

Boo!

Floor wax, thumb tacks, purple paint, too.

Stir them in my witches' brew.

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo.

Finger nails, lunch pails, apple cores, too.

Stir them in my witches' brew.

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo.

ooo - My witches' brew - ooo

What's it gonna do to you?

Boo!

Wrinkled prunes, mushrooms, motor oil, too.

Stir them in my witches' brew.

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo.

I got magic, Alakazamakazoo.


Animated Witch with Cauldron

Hap Palmer Poll

Mushroom Costume

Who could resist a little one dressed in this little mushroom on Halloween night? All you need is a king size white or cream pillowcase with holes for the head and arms and a white long-sleeved turtle neck and pants to complete the costume.

You'll find some mushrooms on Amazon

For other kitchen witches and mushroom fans, here are some things that you'll scream over. The Shiitake mushrooms are delicious and promote good health. Blessed be.

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, Fire Burn and Cauldron bubble...

Besides photography, we enjoy cooking and doing some magic in the kitchen. There are many delicious edible mushrooms that can be purchased at your local grocery and here are some recipes for some yummy Witches Brew (that include mushrooms) to serve your Halloween guests.


Witch's Brew Recipes


Witch's Brew

from: EverydayCook.com

Ingredients

1/4 cup bacon

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 green peppers, cut up

2 large onions

1 large can of tomatoes

1 large can of tomato sauce

1 can of kidney beans

1 can of mushrooms drained

2 cups of uncooked elbow macaroni, cooked

salt and pepper

grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut bacon into pieces, fry until brown; remove bacon from the pan. Brown hamburger, green pepper, and onions. Add tomatoes, beans, and mushrooms. Cook for 15 minutes; stir in bacon and macaroni. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 1 hour.

A delicious Italian Witches Brew Recipe by the kitchenwitch, can be found at EHow.

You'll certainly need something to wash all those spicy dishes down with, so here's some Witches Brew Punch

From RecipeZaar

For fun, make a frozen hand for the punch bowl. Rinse out a clear plastic glove and place some orange juice in it. Freeze and slice off the glove. Float the frozen "hand" in the punch bowl.

Ingredients

2 (6 ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate

2 quarts apple juice or cider

2 quarts ginger ale

2 cups orange juice

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients and chill.

2. Pour into punch bowl for display, if desired.

3. To serve, pour into glasses over ice, along with a slice of orange for garnish, if desired.

4. Makes about 6 quarts.




Old-Fashioned Mushroom Recipes

Ghoulish Goodies Cookbook

Your Halloween party will be a hit with these ghoulish goodies on the table.

© 2009 Yvonne L B

Please Cackle at Us

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on October 23, 2012:

Gorgeously displayed and mushrooms do sound ideal to pop into my cauldron this Halloween.

Pat Goltz on October 02, 2012:

Couldn't figure out how to cackle, so I decided I needed to go listen to the chickens. I like your mushroom information. I was hoping you would identify the delicate mushroom in an early picture, because I saw one of those in Tennessee. So I got a field guide instead. Thanks for the link.

FallenAngel 483 on September 10, 2012:

This lens has got me in the mood for my guided mushroom walk nect month. I love photographing fungi and it was great to see your photos of the ones that grow where you live.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on September 10, 2012:

This Halloween witches brew has been an absolute charm to visit. You had me smiling right from the start of your introduction paragraph. What an absolutely wonderful Halloween recipe lens. You rock.

Geeve on August 26, 2012:

Flew by on the Squid Angels' Bus and alighted briefly to leave some Angel Dust. Blessed. :)

anonymous on September 21, 2011:

I really enjoyed this fun lens and all the photos.

WhiteOak50 on September 12, 2011:

I just wanted to stop by to let you know that I have featured this page on my new SquidBOO < a href="http://www.squidoo.com/whiteoaks-witches-brew&quot... Witches Brew lens. Happy Halloween!!

Glory Miller from USA on December 13, 2010:

Great idea for a lens, I love the photographs.

blue22d on October 10, 2010:

A like your lens and have you featured over at my new lens: Purple Halloween Costumes

Indigo Janson from UK on October 04, 2010:

Thank you for sharing your fungi and mushrooms in this witches brew of a page! The cauliflower fungus looks quite lovely, like a flower.

emmaklarkins on October 01, 2010:

Great lens! You've been plexoed on Halloween on Squidoo! http://www.squidoo.com/halloween-on-squidoo

WhiteOak50 on September 29, 2010:

I just featured this lens on my Halloween Recipes page.

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

I agree with the mushroom photos, seems its really yummy! Great Lens!

Sherry Venegas from La Verne, CA on October 24, 2009:

Beautiful lens. Love your layout and just the right amount of graphics and pictures. The pictures you have taken are naturlicious.

Bellezza-Decor from Canada on September 28, 2009:

Your mushrooms photos look boo deeelicious! 5*

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on September 28, 2009:

Hap Palmer's song Witches Brew is always a favorite with children.

Congratulations on the Purple Star Award!

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on September 25, 2009:

Fabulous Fall Boo Lens. Congrats on your Purple Star!

Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on September 24, 2009:

Really cool mushroom photos. Excellent lens!

justholidays on September 23, 2009:

Very nice lens and so Halloweenish!

Robin S from USA on September 22, 2009:

This is fantastic!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on September 22, 2009:

Oh my goodness, you all certainly boosted the sagging spirits of this little witch. Blessed be to you all and thanks.

Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on September 21, 2009:

You're always a few steps ahead of everyone else with your CSS and lens customization. This one is no exception, it looks great. Squid Angel blessed!

KimGiancaterino on September 21, 2009:

Gorgeous photos! We get boring beige mushrooms in our garden, though I did find a pretty large one today while trimming some shrubs. Wonderful Halloween lens... you've been Boo-lessed by a Squid Angel.

bdkz on September 21, 2009:

Congratulations! You've been SquidBoo Blasted. Happy Halloween!

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on September 20, 2009:

Beautifully done & blessed.

There are some truly monstrous mushrooms on this page mind you my son thinks they are all awful.