Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A real toadstool

      I think that most people, in the English-speaking world at least, have heard the word "toadstool" and have probably used it too to describe some form of mushroom. In fact, I would be curious to know whether other languages have a similar expression.
     From my knowledge of its usage in English it is generally used to describe an inedible type of fungus found in the forest.
     I cannot recall every having seen it as a toadstool literally, until I came across this American Toad Anaxyrus americanus resting on bracket fungi.

     The forest was full of toads, with many tiny ones, but this full grown specimen was the pride of the bunch. It was very co-operative as it posed for pictures, even turning to give us a different view, without leaving its seat.

     Nature is wonderful! Every day's exploration holds a potential surprise; I wonder what my next new discovery will be?


  1. Dear David,
    very nice and special; really seeing a toad resting on a toadstool.
    The general Dutch word for mushrooms; paddenstoel; also means a stool for toads. I realize only now; it's an odd expression. Never saw a toad sitting on it, and these are the first pictures I ever saw.
    Best regards, Corrie

  2. Thanks for letting me know the Durch word, Corrie. I suspect that like you, many have never actually seen it.

  3. Oh my gosh I love this!! So much. That would make my day to see something like that. Heck, just seeing the picture made my day!

  4. Wow!
    Now that is a real toadstool, what a fantastic photograph.

    Nature is indeed wonderful.

    All the best Jan

  5. Hi David.

    Beautiful this frog on mushroom.
    Beautiful pictures.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  6. Unas fotos increíbles, tienen magia, me han gustado mucho. Un fuerte abrazo desde España. Nature is wonderful!!!!

  7. Hi David, Super images of a real toadstool, we get toadstools in the back but without the toad. Regards John

  8. What a great photo and yes the first time I have seen a toad sitting on a stool. I found the following information.
    Toadstools have nothing to do with toads; rather, the often inedible and even poisonous fungi are called 'toadstools' from the German 'Tod' ("death") and 'Stuhl' ("stool").

    1. Thanks for this, Diane. We live and learn. Now we have to gather a basket of the most toxic to send to Donald Trump for lunch!

  9. You've made beautiful pictures. Corrie explained it very well, David.
    And yes, I also have never seen this before. Gr Jan W

  10. Brilliant David, nice find of yours.

  11. Really nice photos! I am glad that the Toad posed for the picture :)
    Is this mushroom poisonous?
    To my knowledge we just called it "seta" or "hongo" (spanish)...

  12. No Patricia this mushroom is not poisonous.

  13. Hello. Great pictures from a frog. a fierce-looking creature.

  14. Dearest David,
    LOVE that first photo, so perfect and indeed it is quite rare for walking upon such a combination!
    Yes, all through history there have been many legends in all languages.
    You can read my husband Pieter's expert explanation here: {Reader Asked WHY They Are Called Toadstools}
    Sending you hugs,

    1. Thanks for a very interesting link, Mariette.

    2. You're quite welcome and we both LOVED your photo!

  15. A delightful sight, David.

    Did you know that, over here, 'trump' is another word for 'fart'. There is also an old English saying 'never trust a fart' - I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions!

    Take good care - - - Richard

  16. Best 'toadstool' I've seen! I always call that fungi a Dryad's Saddle.

  17. Great photos and great comments on your photos hahaha. A rare sight to see the toad on the toadstool.
    Take care,


  18. Hello David,
    Indeed, this toad was very nice to you . The result is beautiful. Bravo for these beautiful photos .
    I dream of a dragonfly on a mushroom. ;-)
    Kiss David, have a good day !

  19. Hi david. At times of such questions I often turn to Wiki which in this case suggests the etymology of "Toadstool".

    "The terms "mushroom" and "toadstool" go back centuries and were never precisely defined, nor was there consensus on application. The term "toadstool" was often, but not exclusively, applied to poisonous mushrooms or to those that have the classic umbrella-like cap-and-stem form. Between 1400 and 1600 AD, the terms tadstoles, frogstooles, frogge stoles, tadstooles, tode stoles, toodys hatte, paddockstool, puddockstool, paddocstol, toadstoole, and paddockstooles sometimes were used synonymously with mushrom, mushrum, muscheron, mousheroms, mussheron, or musserouns.[6]

    The word has apparent analogies in Dutch padde(n)stoel (toad-stool/chair, mushroom) and German Krötenschwamm (toad-fungus, alt. word for panther cap). In German folklore and old fairy tales, toads are often depicted sitting on toadstool mushrooms and catching, with their tongues, the flies that are said to be drawn to the Fliegenpilz, a German name for the toadstool, meaning "flies' mushroom". This is how the mushroom got another of its names, Krötenstuhl (a less-used German name for the mushroom), literally translating to "toad-stool".

    The term "mushroom" and its variations may have been derived from the French word mousseron in reference to moss (mousse). The toadstool's connection to toads may be direct, in reference to some species of poisonous toad,[7] or may just be a case of phonosemantic matching from the German word.[8] However, delineation between edible and poisonous fungi is not clear-cut, so a "mushroom" may be edible, poisonous, or unpalatable. The term "toadstool" is nowadays used in storytelling when referring to poisonous or suspect mushrooms. The classic example of a toadstool is Amanita muscaria.

    Cultural or social phobias of mushrooms and fungi may be related. The term "fungophobia" was coined by William Delisle Hay of England, who noted a national superstition or fear of "toadstools".[9][10] He described the "fungus-hunter" as being contemptible and detailed the larger demographic's attitude toward mushrooms as "abnormal, worthless, or inexplicable".[10] Fungophobia spread to the United States and Australia, where it was inherited from England.[10][11] The underlying cause of a cultural fungophobia may also be related to the exaggerated importance placed on the few deadly and poisonous mushrooms found in the region of that culture.[12] In these regions, mushrooms were also sometimes regarded as magic or satanic, their fruiting bodies appearing quickly overnight from underground. Some believed they were the Devil's fruit, and others that mushroom rings were magical portals."

    What ever! But your pictures will surely find their way into a publication that wishes to portray a real-live toadstool.

    1. Everything I ever wanted to know - and more!

  20. Hahaha!!!...... your comment on my blog!!
    Don't you think you were going a teeny weeny little bit overboard????!! LOL!!!
    Now look who's talking...!!
    Those photos of a toad on a mushroom are just fantastic and so much fun!!
    I agree, nature is fabulous!
    Congratulation, they make for a great post!!
    Un montón de abrazos para os 2 :)

  21. What beautiful frog on mushroom.
    Greetings Tinie

  22. Hello David,
    this is a very special mushroom!
    Very nice to see and really cool with the pad on top :-)
    I really would not know if there are similar names in other languages.
    I hope that there are still some who would tell kunnne it.
    Greetings, Helma

  23. Sorry David almost missed this post,love the Frog on mushroom images,would love to come across one.

  24. Fabulous photos! The toad is cute. I've never found a frog or toad on a mushroom.

  25. So far, Gunilla, I have not heard from a single person who has ever seen this. It must be truly unusual!

  26. wow, this is grand
    to see a toad on it's stool
    a whole different take on the term! love that. wonderful photos too. so glad i got to see your images. they make me smile. I saw a similar toad recently in a forest that burned last year. I think it is the first toad that i have seen here. It looks much like yours.

  27. Wonderful frog on mushroom David.
    Best regards, Irma