Magic Mushrooms

All that the rain promises and moreAll That the Rain Promises and More… : A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms

Submitter: I saw this cover and burst out laughing, a man dressed in a tuxedo carrying a trombone while searching for mushrooms in the wilderness with a crazy grin on his face. What is not to love? The second .jpg [below] is a completely different man dressed as a tree, complete with bark outfit… a lot of strange men hanging out in these woods. Third .jpg [below] is the man again, his image reflected in the shiny surface of a toaster that just happens to be toasting a couple of mushrooms. Apparently, this book is quite a useful resource for mushroom seekers, but I imagine that most people won’t get past the cover. .

Holly: Someone got into the wrong mushrooms, if you know what I mean, when they decided on the art direction for this book. Bizarre.

mushroom toast

Index and photo credits


    1. Maybe that’s the feeling they were trying to evoke? Those men look like they’re about to romance the mushrooms themselves, particularly the one on the cover…

    2. See, the title to me suggested one of those weird, celebrity written poetry books.

      And the cover made me think it was from the 1970s and that same celebrity was eating a different type of mushroom while writing said poems.

  1. I don’t know what I love/fear more – the cover art or the mushroom caps in the Clint Howard-reflecting toaster 0.O

  2. This is a key publication for west coast mushroom enthusiasts and is still one of the best written books on the topic.

  3. Is collecting wild mushrooms to eat risky in the US? In Australia it is highly discouraged because some poisonous mushrooms and toadstools look too much like the edible ones. This website mentions safe European varieties being mixed up with similar looking poisonous Australian ones, but recently some people have been poisoned by dangerous Australian mushrooms that look like edible Asian varieties too. Of course Australia is known for its poisons ­čśŤ

    1. Although perhaps the men in this book are grinning because they are deliberately collecting poisonous fungi to poison someone with!

    2. Most mycological clubs advise beginners to start out with an experienced forager until they can reliably recognize the edible ones themselves. Many of these clubs also hold regular foraging events open to foragers of all levels too!

  4. I’m sitting here imagining the discussions that took place during the photo shoot for this cover.

    “OK, he looks good in the tux, love the action pose with him straddling the tree root holding the mushrooms. Wait…hmm…something’s missing. Yeah. You know, what this shot really needs is a trombone!”

    1. Maybe mushrooms grow better with a little Herb Alpert! You know, “Tijuana Taxi” or, in keeping with the cover, “This Guy’s In Love.”

    2. As I recall (somewhat foggily) from a blurb on the inside, the photo actually wasn’t staged. The author had just finished playing a symphony concert–note the concert hall in the background–and stumbled across a handful of chantrelles on the way back to the car (or something similar–I don’t have the book in front of me.) It really is an excellent book content-wise, and at this point the cover’s so iconic among mycophiles that I doubt the publisher will change it any time soon.

  5. Yep, weird as that cover is, this is pretty much -the- go-to reference book for western states mushroom hunting. Definitely not something to cull, unless it’s found its way into a collection in the east perhaps.

  6. I wonder if this man took advice from Maria Sabina in Oaxaca, Mexico…..mmmhhhh…

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