Paddock perfection

Can you imagine anything more purely beautiful than this fungus? It had popped up in the the orchard paddock and was gleaming white at me across all the soggy green. There was another further up the hill.

Each was alone in its perfection, a setting befitting the creation.

It is Macrolepiota dolichaula, I discover, and am surprised it is ‘very common’ in eastern Australia. What a wonderful world where such beauty is common! My examples are about 150mm diameter across their snowily tufted tops, below which the dainty picot edges set the parasols off beautifully.

The central peak reminds me of a meringue, slightly crazing as it cooks to pinkish brown. My book reckons some people eat these regularly but others ‘suffer stomach upsets’. I think I’ll be content to feast on the sight alone.

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