Friday, October 19, 2012

The Fungus Among Us

I recently became a member of the Field Botanists of Ontario and was able to attend my first field trip on the Thanksgiving long weekend. All about mushrooms and other fungi, I knew it was something my dad would be interested in, so I invited him to join me. It was a great, information packed day and I was so happy to share it with my dad.

The full day workshop was led by naturalist and mushroom expert Richard Aaron, on the grounds of the Koffler Scientific Reserve north of Toronto. The day was divided up into outdoor time, walking through the woods gathering specimens and indoor class time.
I thought these Eyelash Cups were adorable!

Turkey tails are really prolific,  fairly easy to ID and used medicinally, especially in treating breast cancer.
We found a lot of different waxy caps.
And polypores.
After we gathered our specimens we spent the afternoon in class discussing our finds.
We organised our finds into gilled mushrooms, polypores and others like coral, cup and jelly fungi and slime moulds.
I thought this Amanita frostiana was beautiful.
Various, cool looking jelly fungi.
More waxy caps.
An old, dried up specimen of bird's nest fungus.
When collecting specimens it's important to gather the whole mushroom and at least make note of the substrate (what the mushroom is growing on). It can greatly help with ID if you know the mushroom was growing on hardwood for example, can see some of the mycelium or remnants of a universal veil.
I really enjoyed this workshop and came away feeling more knowledgeable about mushrooms and even more in awe of amazing and mysterious fungi!


Green Grrl said...

Birds nest fungus! That's what is growing in my cedar mulch. It looks so papery I thought perhaps it was some sort of wasps nest. Cool!

Amber said...

Oooh nice! I`d love to see a fresh specimen. Pictures that I`ve seen look so cool.