Sitting Alone at Lunch.
Brilliant Orange .... gorgeous autumn coloursin our neck of the woods....is also the colour of "Lobster Mushrooms" (Hypomyces lactifluorum) which are parasitic on white Lactarius spp (milk mushrooms) and Russula (spp) hosts. They grow low to the ground, often almostso deep in the dirt as to beinvisibleexcept for a spot of that crazy orange peeking out. You can find them in open grass or in the forest’s all-green understorywhere a wildly unexpected shade of orange-redcan make you think, grumpily: “Who left that Kinder Egg wrapped here?” The first question everyone asks meabout Le Lobster: Is itedible? The answer is the kind of answer I love so much: It dependsIt depends on what it colonized. If the mushrooms it colonized were Lactarius or Russula, then yes, because Lactarius and Russula are not poisonousto humans. If it colonized something toxic and dangerous, then it will be toxic and dangerous.
What Le Lobster teaches is that you get to eat if you get to know all the folks around you. Don't just hang out with your favourite cool kid friends at one table in the cafeteria: Poke your head up and see who or what is sitting at the tables all around you. Someone might be alone. Some might be sitting in a circle. Someonemight be dressed in a red cone hat and have brown fuzzy rings up their stem. Go say hello. Meet their buddies, learn their names, find out what they like to do with their free time, if they even have free time? Suss out their superpowers: Chess? Anti-inflammatory? Lego? Hallucinogenic? Algebra? Lobster Impersonations? Volleyball? Spore rockets? Crochet champ? Delicious? Holy heck, yes! And lots to share. Everyone and everything works better that way.
Or: you puke. Lobster mushrooms just spell it out rather, um, colourfully.