It seems to be Amanita season. With the hot, dry weather, most fungi have gone into hiding; still there, underground, but waiting for rain before they push their fruiting bodies (what we know as mushrooms) out into the light again. Not the assorted Amanita species; even in open fields, bathed in sunlight, they're still to be found.
|This one is in half-shade.|
Most Amanitas, whether they're the Fly Amanita, the Panther, or most others, can be identified by two characteristics; the "warts" or "fly-specks", remnants of the universal veil it wore as a youngster; and the volva, the other end of the same veil, showing as a ragged cup at the bottom of the stalk. Often this can only be seen by digging into the duff at the base. The mushroom may also wear a skirt-like partial veil remnant further up the stalk, as in the photo above.
|Warts, partial veil ring, and hints of the volva beneath.|
This is where it gets tricky: the poisonous Amanita, when still a button, disguises itself as a puffball, edible and delicious. Cut in half, the structure of stalk and cap appears; not a puffball.
|This looked like a dusty puffball until I pulled away the moss around the base. And there's the volva.|
I used to eat mushrooms I found in the wild, especially puffballs. Not any more; the whole Amanita tribe is extremely variable, and has often been mistaken for edible mushrooms. Better safe than sorry.