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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Der Fliegenpilz

It was a fine and sunny Sunday morning in the Italian Dolomites
We were hiking in the Dolomites, near Soprapolzano (Oberbozen) Italy when two handsome young Wald Polizei Officers (Forest Wardens) came charging down a mountain, ready to arrest us. Are you hunting mushrooms? Yes, was the answer. Now we WE MUST ARREST YOU! But dear officers, what I meant was that I am hunting mushrooms with my camera. I am looking for the elusive little Fliegenpilz. You see it was Sunday and picking mushrooms is VERBOTEN on Sundays.

We had a difficult time convincing the officers that we were looking for Fliegenpilze to photograph. They noted that there were no Fliegenpilze in the area. They were almost right because these two were hiding very nicely.

The amanita muscari toadstool is known to many children. It is so attractive but oh so poisonous. Did you know that this mushroom can be used as an insecticide? It kills flies if crushed and then sprinkled with milk. The Siberian Shamans used them for inducing a condition, similar to extreme alcohol intoxication. The mushroom is not very toxic, no one has yet died from ingesting it.



  1. Dear Gina! We were in Südtirol - last summer - and it was absolutely beautiful! We laughed a lot while reading mushroom picking rules, so many funny details.
    Greetings and thanks for the nice photos!
    Frau Mayer

  2. Dear Frau Mayer and Cat, by the way how is the cat?; haven't heard for a while.
    We have been to Suedtirol many many times, especially Oberbozen, winter, spring, summer, fall. All you need to know is "Gruess Gott", one of the only few German words my English speaking husband has mastered. The other expression "wie gehts" is his other greeting, which he can pronounce like a native. However, that is the end of his German speaking skills.

    Our newest discovery is the area around Niederdorf. Such beautiful country.

  3. Hello Gina,
    the post is ready:)
    Hope you'll like it

  4. Hi Gosia, Thank you for including me in your 5 most favorite blogs. It is mutual admiration. You will be in my most favorite blog list.

  5. How interesting and how beautiful the mushrooms. I would be terrified to be in a foreign country and have the officers think I was doing something wrong. And they would surly come after me because I've always got a camera dangling around my neck. The most trouble I've been in while in Italy was making photos when I shouldn't. I see the guards come toward me and I know its VERBOTEN! The camera gets put away......
    Have a Happy Day.

    The French Hutch

  6. Hi Emily, The officers were very charming once they knew that we were not picking mushrooms. I never knew that picking mushrooms on Sunday is a no no. I always try to observe all of the signs in churches and museums...but most of all I'm very careful about not taking pictures of people...especially in some cultures where it is strictly forbidden.