How to distinguish poisonous mushrooms
 
In preparing the guide to life, I was often in a state of contradiction. Knowledge is a double-edged sword, it poses danger while it brings convenience. The accident happened in Gangcha County, Qinghai Province is just the proof.
                                                                               
When I went to Gangcha County to study the situation of bird flu, I was living in the guest house of the county. One noon when I was taking a siesta, I was woken up by the noises downstairs. I went to the window and poked my head out to look down, and found that a crow of people surrounded a woman lying on a wood block, some of them gave her the first aid by pressing her chest, while most of them were onlookers. The middle aged woman lay there with no reaction. Several days later, an attendant of the guest house told me the story.
 
The middle-aged woman was called Zhuoma, around 40. Two days before the horse racing festival held once several years would arrive, and it was a sunny day. The whole country seat was filled with the festival atmosphere, hustling and bustling, with lots of visitors.  Zhuoma wanted to have a day off after two years hard work. She had to manage everything of the family, she was suffering with constant illness, her children were naughty, her husband Zhaxi did nothing at home, but just loitered around everyday. She wanted to buy herself a new piece of clothes in the market, so she open the case to get her case-dough accumulated in her daily life, but found it gone. Realizing that it had been taken away by her husband again, she got angry. She went to the street to look for him, and found him after three hours. Then she quarreled with her husband who was in turn fought back without any compromise. She threatened to die, yet her husband said that if she wanted to die, nobody would stop her. Guffawed by the onlookers, she ran to a river bank and got sadder and angrier while she recollected her past life with her husband: she had enjoyed the happiness even one day in the dozen of years after their marriage, while her husband cared nothing at home but stole money from home to enjoy himself outside and he had never cared about Zhuoma. One day, she suffered from acute gastroenteritis with diarrhea and vomiting, and got too weak to stand, but her husband didní»t care a bit, and continued playing billiards outside. Before their marriage, many friends had told her that Zhaxi was untrustworthy, but she refused to believe. How foolish she was. She sat there staring at the colorful mushrooms, red, yellow, green, brightly colored under the sunlight. Then the knowledge about how to identify poisonous mushrooms learnt from the announcement board outside the market came to her mind, and thought that it would better to eat some poisonous mushroom and die. So she picked some mushrooms indiscriminately, and swallowed them. But after an hour, nothing happened. She thought that as she didní»t die, she would not go to die, and she would go home to prepare dinner for her son. She got up and headed home, but fell down to the road due to breath difficulty just as she got to the street.    
 
I wondered the reliability of the story. And I didní»t know how the attendant got so clear about the psychological activity of Zhuoma when she was sitting at the river bank. But I believed the poison of the mushroom would take effect several hours later, or even longer, with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, bellyache, watery diarrhea, myosis, hepatomegaly and high death rate. Hearing the story, I thought that if Zhuoma hadní»t been to the market of agricultural products, she wouldní»t have known the knowledge how to identify the poisonous mushrooms,   or if the posters in the announce board were about the knowledge of the harm of smoking or how to prevent AIDS etc. she would care nothing about the mushrooms when she was sitting at the river bank. She might just get some breeze and bask under the sun, then her spirit might recovered and return home to prepare dinner.
 
After the story, I really didní»t know whether I should continue with the information. However we should always look at the brighter side of anything. It would bring convenience to others if they know how to tell the poisonous mushrooms. So I would still like to give the information of how to identity them
 
There is abundance of mushrooms on the plateau, and many edible mushrooms are quite similar to the poisonous ones. For some of them, even experts need to distinguish them with the aid of microscope. It is very reliable to tell the poisonous mushrooms and edible mushrooms by traditional experience and methods, so many people got poisoned after mistakenly eating the poisonous mushrooms.
  


Here are some of the common methods to identify mushrooms
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