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I have seen a lot of Great Blue Herons here, but I can't recall ever seeing a baby Blue. When it stands up, are its legs and neck proportionately very long, like the adult Blue Heron? I am looking at pictures of young Blue Herons online, and this bird looks more stocky and "compact" than they do, though it might just be very young.
The first one definitely looks like a Russula (possibly R. amoenolens or a relative). From what I understand, these won't kill you, but a lot of them smell and taste really bad, and can cause gastrointestinal upset. I wouldn't consider it edible.
Wild mushrooms and "toadstools" are pretty much the same thing. I don't mind the term "toadstool" being used interchangably with "mushroom", but a lot of people don't like it, or use it to describe only poisonous fungi.
"Red beside yellow kills a fellow / red beside black, venom lack"
Does anyone know if this old folk rule is actually accurate? It seems to be in this case.
I am very glad that you saved this beautiful snake.
I finally found out what is going on with these ants. Ants will often `piggyback` each other when they are traveling long distances. What I was seeing here was a very typical `social carrying`pose (See:http://www.flickr.com/photos/msitua/2661718938/in/set-72157607660637627). This means that the carried ant is neither dead nor larger than the carrying ant. It was simply rolled into a position that looks terribly awkward, but, since it is a classic social carrying posture, must be somehow comfortable.