Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Food or Pleasure? Fading Scarlet Waxy Cap
Introducing the Fading Scarlet Waxy Cap Hygrophorus Miniatus, a petite translucent beauty of damp summer woodlands of North America. While listed as "edible" I would much rather feast on this one with my eyes, although one does wonder at the entrepreneurial spirit of the first tasters. Personally, I find them far too pretty to use for gastronomical experiments--I don't eat flowers either, although some are definitely edible.
The fading scarlet waxy cap grows to a maximum of 4 cm or 1 5/8th inches, so if you want to truly appreciate their beauty, you'll be down on your hands and knees, tilting your head like a confused collie. They are definitely worth the contortions required for proper viewing. This little cluster was seen in Killarney Provincial Park, on the Cranberry Bog Trail, June 22. In this case, I had a friend snap a reference photo as I'd forgotten my camera. Lucky me, her camera has many more megapixels than mine and allowed for an extreme close-up of the tiny fungus. And yes, I do experience extreme 'camera-envy' whenever she whips her camera out.
As usual, with any mushroom, if you are tempted to taste-test, do acquire a reputable field-guide and educate yourself thoroughly on the subject first.
Image: Coloured pencil on cream Canson paper, 7"x7".