The extraordinary before us
What was it about the fly agaric mushroom that Jan found so fascinating? For one thing, the way the light fell through the cap of the fungi, giving the intricately patterned underside a vibrant glow (above left). The fly agaric is known to be poisonous and psychoactive.
Jan’s interest soon spread beyond his neighborhood. Near the Dutch-German border, he found the Ramariopsis pulchella, the small purple fungus shown above, to the right. He discovered that European conservation groups are monitoring that particular fungi as possibly threatened.
Before this year, Jan walked past the fungi, tiny objects that would pop up around wood rot after long rains. In accounts first in our Dutch-language edition and this month in