Toadstools in the meadow

I caught a nasty cold just in time for Halloween, hence the light blogging in recent days.

I even had to ask my parents to hand out candy to any trick or treaters who might show up, because opening the door looking and feeling like an extra from The Walking Dead really wouldn’t have been appropriate. We actually got trick or treaters, too, ten of them in fact, which is quite a lot, considering Halloween hasn’t been celebrated in Germany all that long. But kids quickly take to such traditions (and all trick or treaters were under ten, a few were toddlers) very quickly, especially if they involve dressing up and getting free candy.

Meanwhile, we are experiencing an extremely warm autumn this year and had up to 20 degrees Celsius in North Germany this weekend. Autumn is also traditionally mushroom time. And since the area where I live is still semi-rural, I came across these two beauties on the meadow across the road.

Toadstool

A toadstool grows among dead leaves on the meadow across the road.

Baby toadstool

A baby toadstool found on the same meadow.

Apparently, the proper English name for those mushrooms is fly agaric (thanks to Ann Somerville for the hint). In Germany, we call them “Fliegenpilz” (fly mushroom).

They’re very pretty, poisonous and hallucinogenic. They were once used in witches’ brews, served as an early pesticide and are also a traditional good luck symbol in Germany.

According to a pre-Christian legend, toadstools grow where one of Odin’s entourage has fallen from their horse during their wild ride across the sky during the winter solstice. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Thor falling onto the meadow across the road. Or Loki, provided he’s not in full-on Avengers villain mode.

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