Maine's wild mushrooms and the yuletide season

Nov 09, 2012

Rockland — On Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m., the Rockland library presents a seasonal nature talk by Greg Marley on Maine’s Wild Mushrooms and the Yuletide Season.

The thought of wild mushrooms brings to mind different images and emotions in people. Some think of the great possibilities of gourmet dinners of chanterelles or King Boletes; for others, the danger of the poisonous mushrooms and the potential for illness comes first to mind. But few people are aware of the deep connection between mushrooms and the Christmas season.

The most frequently illustrated mushroom is the bright red and white Amanita muscaria, the Fly Agaric. It graces the cover and pages of children’s books, fantasy illustrations and can even be glimpsed dancing across the screen in computer games. In Central Europe, this colorful and distinctive mushroom has long been a symbol of good fortune for the New Year and often adorns decorations for the Christmas season. Is there a reason that we see Santa as a rotund man garbed in bright red and pristine white; the living image of the Christmas mushroom? Why do you think Santa is pulled across the sky by flying reindeer?

Join local mushroom expert and author Greg Marley as he explores wild edible, medicinal, and poisonous mushrooms. Greg will reveal the connections of mushrooms to the yuletide season, and the answers to these vexing seasonal questions. This talk will be an entertaining blend of fact, fantasy and supposition for all ages. Greg will have copies of his books available for sale after the presentation.

Special accommodations for persons with disabilities can be made with 48 hours notice. Please call the library at 594-0310.

This is one in a continuing Thursday series of literary, film and cultural offerings sponsored by the Rockland Public Library & The Friends of the Rockland Public Library. Admission is free.

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