This years Spring foray 2016 was fun as usual. Morels were to be found both in the burns and blonde naturals along the trails by the creek. We happened up an early flush of Spring Kings as well. Plenty of spring wildflowers at 4000' feet and higher. A little rain, a little sun and plenty of good company makes our FFSC forays the events we enjoy. Both old timers and new enjoyed hunting and eating mushrooms. Till the next hunt.....
Mushroom of the Month: August, 2016
This month we take a look at a little brown job, that is dear to my heart but probably not to most of yours. Galerina autumnalis is a small brown job, growing on well rotten logs and stumps during wet months. And as a small brown job, why do people care at all here, since for most people those are the mushrooms you do best to ignore? This species has been shown to contain the same toxins as that of Amanita phalloides, a.k.a. “the Death Cap”. That species has been associated with the most cases of deadly poisonings around the world. But in the case of G. autumnalis since it is a LBJ (little brown job), it is rarely the case of mushroom poisonings, since who wants to eat LBJs anyway? But it comes up positive in tests for amanita-toxins, and in lists of poisonous mushrooms it always makes the cut. And people are always fascinated with deadly things, now, aren't they?
Mushroom of the Month: May, 2016
One of the most common remarks I get from eager beginners in the fall and winter is, "look at all these Boletes!" Excited that they have just hit the mother load of culinary excellence, I remark (as many before me), "sorry… it's a Suillus". As what a Suillus is and why it is not on par with a "true" Bolete is explained, you can see the disappointment set in. Just one of those mushroom "rights of passage" we all have to go through. You spend an hour in the woods collecting what you think is going to be the meal of the year, only to find out you have the culinary equivalent of a wet sponge, and a maggot riddled one at that! With a little time and experience however Suillus is one of our easier local fungi to ID at the genus level simply by sight.
Mushroom of the Month: June, 2016
As many of you know the mushroom world has been going through a lot of changes in recent years with the onset of genetic sequencing. One of the main impacts of this has been the renaming or reclassification of not only singular mushrooms, but in some instances whole genera (heck, Suillus got its own family!). It sometimes seems that just about every mushroom we see in our local woods now has a new name or spot in the myco tree of life. And one of our most prized groups of local mushrooms, the boletes, is no exception. With the recent publishing of scientific papers some of their names have changed as well. So let’s dive in at the first official wave of name changes to impact our beloved Boletus.
|WHAT:||43rd Annual Santa Cruz Fungus Fair|
|WHEN:||13-15, January 2017|
|WHERE:||Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060|
January 13-15, 2017 (ffsc.us/fair)
Learn about the hundreds of beautiful and fascinating species of mushrooms found in the Santa Cruz/Monterey and Bay Area. Find fungi on display in a re-created woodland habitat. This unique Santa Cruz tradition features three days of fantastic fun, informative speakers and demonstrations, with fungal activities for the whole family. Initiated by David Arora in 1973, this year's fair represents 43 years of keeping the "fun" in fungi. Join the fun!
It was 25 years ago in May that I joined a foray to Yosemite led by David Arora. We camped at the Sweetwater campground on Hwy. 120 outside the park. I was new to FFSC then and didn’t know anyone, but feel that there must have been a club member or two on the trip. David says there were about twenty of us in total but sadly I have no photos of the foray and can’t remember the people. The first day we hunted the Nat. forest off Evergreen road and found morels. I remember being very proud of a prime 3” specimen. David found some Amanita velosa and cooked them up for us to taste that evening. He told us they were some of the best-tasting mushrooms and, of course, added the obligatory warning about eating amanitas that we weren’t absolutely sure of.