What drives the Czech passion for mushroom hunting? We asked photographer Jaroslav Malý, a member of the Czech Mycological Society whose work has appeared in several books including the English-language Astounding Mushrooms, magazines, calendars, children’s games, and mobile apps.
“Czechs have always been close to fungi. During the war and in times of misery it nurutured us for generations and we have passed on those experiences and recipes. We just have it in the genes.”
Many of the mushrooms featured in Mr. Malý’s stunning work come from Mělník and South Bohemia, though his own personal favorite site for picking are the woodlands surrounding Mladé Vožice.
Mr. Malý is currently at work on a book about the medicinal powers of mushrooms. His website is a comprehensive online atlas of fungi (the good, the bad, the deadly) featuring many of the brilliantly hued specimens seen here.