Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mushroom class - update

Internet issues and work have kept me from posting before now, but I thought I would share a few photos from the mushrooms class. Here is Jon, coffee in hand, going through some slides explaining the different families of mushrooms. As you can see he had packed the presentation with many of his photos so those who attended got some good ideas of what to look for when trying to make an accuarte identification.

There were also plenty of mushroom identification books available to peruse. So folks could see which books they might like to go out and get for their own collections. Jon even had a few I hadn't got to see before, like this Boletes of North America, which I think will be on my Christmas list next year.

We spent the morning with a brief presentation, though once you get Jon talking, nothing is too brief. Then after a quick lunch break, we hit the woods to see what we could turn up. Besides giving info on mushrooms, Jon was also glad to impart some knowledge about mushroom photography as well.

Despite the lack of rain until just a few days before, we did manage to turn up quite a few specimens. Even managed to find on big old hen, and I stress the old part. Unfortunately this one was already turning yellow in the pores and one smell would tell you that it was way past its prime and could not be sampled. Too bad because it was large enough everyone could have gotten a good taste. I am holding only about 1/5 of the original.

Most mushrooms that we found that were fresh were small or growing on wood. Will is looking at one such specimen here.

However, there were still a few monsters lurking about. This unidentified Tricholoma was the largest that was found. It was on the old side and showed many signs of age, but was still neat to look at. You don't see too many large Trichs in this area compared to say out in the Pacific Northwest or other regions of the country.

After the hunt we brought most of our finds back to the classroom and Jon set out to identifying what he could. For edibles, in addition to the inedible hen, we had examples of chicken of the woods (yellow-pored), a smooth chanterelle, some nice and fresh hericiums, a really old man of the woods, and some even older disfigured purple gilled lacarria.

Jon and I, though mainly Jon since he knows the non-edibles much more than I, did our best to ID everything that was brought in. Becasue many were small, including several LBMs (little brown mushrooms) there were several that we didn't get an exact ID on, but we could at least suggest what family they were in and even narrow them down to two or three potential suspects.

All in all, in only about an hour looking along about a half mile of trail, the group managed to turn up over 60 different species which wasn't too bad considering how things had slowed down in the woods in the preceeding weeks.

All in all I think everyone had a good time and hopefully learned a thing or two about mushrooms, their characteristics, and what to look for when trying to identify them.

There have already been requests for more mushroom programs, so Jon and I are exploring setting up some more forays in the future, including a few official ones with folks from nearby mycological club like the Missouri Mycological Society and the Kaw Valley Mycological Society. Jon has started a email distribution list so we can let those who attended know about these future events. If you were not able to attend the class but would be interested in knowing about these, just drop me a line and I'll make sure you are added to the list.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cool stuff! I'm in the PacNW, so can't come to a class :( We've been hunting the last four Sundays (taking this one off). Lots of white chanterelles the first few weeks, now we're seeing more yellows (which we think taste better). We've been on the look out for morels for 3 years, we find falsies at least once a year, this is the one that I want to learn most about, the elusive NW morel! We usually find quite a bit of oyster over the year here, as we've noticed they are out and about in the wet areas most of the year, all but the coldest and hottest times, we just haven't been putting a lot of time into them yet. Chanterelles we have to drive an hour for, oysters are in many local parks and I grab them when I can while hunting letterboxes!
~CLoveR

ps some of your "mushroom links" on the side of your page are broken". Love your posts!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Fascinating!

I was just thinking about mushrooms (and you, actually) today, as I tried to ready my new house for the winter rains.

ahistory said...

Thanks Clover for the comments. You make me jealous about the white chanterelles. Don't find those around here and I'm always looking to try new ones. But you say you like the yellows better so maybe I am better off. I guess I need a trip to the PCNW to see.

Thanks for the heads up on the links. I should have them all fixed now and I even added a few more.

Hey Lisa, I hope the rains bring you some good fungi to photo.

Curtis said...

I was wondering if oyster mushrooms ever grow from the ground near old stumps? I live in Northwest Missouri and I found some of what look like oyster mushrooms gray on top white underneath and have pictures but I see no way to attach pic here but they were not growing right off of wood but from theground near an old stump? Could these be oysters? Are there any dangerous look-a-likes? Thanks Curtis

ahistory said...

Hello Curtis, it is hard to tell if what you have found are oysters without seeing some photos. Usually they grow on wood and not from the ground, so I suspect that they may be something else, but they could be growing from buried wood. If you can email me pictures, I might be able to give you a more definitive answer. You can email them to me by clicking the link under "report your find" on the right side of the main page.

Did you take a spore print by any chance? If so, what color was the spores?