Beginning mushroomer advice

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Thu Nov 1 05:34:16 EST 2001

The following message appeared in MushRumors, the newsletter of the
Oregon Mycological Society.


Fellow, Mycologists...
	Well, your rain dances this summer seem to have helped: we have had a
couple of adays of rains north of the Columbia. I know; we were
driving back from Olympia July 29th and most of the trip was wet.
South there apparently was not much, so we need to improve the
directional component of the rain dances, i.e. think Mt. Hood during
such activity!
	The OMS Picnis at Jolie's was a culinary and social success for those
who came. we would have liked to see more of you, but I know it's a
busy summer, especially with the need for those dances. One bit of
news: 10 lbs of chanterelles were offered to Jolie's neighborhood farm
stand for sale. Source: Coastal Range. So it feels as if the mushroom
season is not far away. To keep your enthusiastic in the meantime,
here is a variety of advice for mushroomers, taken liberally from
"Mycelium," the newsletter of the Mycological Society of Toronto:
	1. "Buy and use good field guides." If you haven't any, Maggie will
gladly recommend and sell your hte best. She now even has a western
tree guide available for those of use who are arboreally challenged.
	2. "Join a mycological society." Well, if you are reading this...
	3. "Take a mushroom ID course." Dick Bishop does the best. It takes
place an hour before our monthly meeting. Come, bring your unknowns,
mushrooms, that is) and don't do what is suggested under a., below.
	4. "Go out with an experienced mushroomer." Yes, and going on OMS
field trips will boraden your knowledge.
	5. "Keep a journal, make good notes." ...on what you find, where, in
what quantities, what the environment is like, the nearest trees, etc.
I have been remiss on this, to my detriment. I once found Craterellus
cornucopoides ("Trumpet of death" or "Horn of plenty") on a logging
road out in the Columbia Gorge, but for the life of me I can't
remember where that was. One's memory is not as good as one thinks.
	The Toronto mushroomers also cits these recommendations:
	a. "Feed all unknown mushrooms to your neighbour's dog." (M. Tate) "I
personally would substitute cats, otherwise no comment." (R. Bohme)
"Or perhaps your firstborn, Reinhard?" (P. Cooper)
	b. "Look for specific edible mushrooms.
	"Don't ...mix them in a bag and expect some 'expert' to tell you
which are edible" (W. Sturgeon). Bagging different mushrooms in
different bags is routine for all our experts. I will try to emulate
them this year.
	c. "If you would not buy it in a grocery store becuase of its
condition, don't eat it from the wild" (Nancy Weber - Our Nancy
Weber?!). A rotsky fungus is a rotsky fungus and had best be tossed.
	Here is one that Jan Lindgren, our Toxicology Guru, could have said:
	d. "Mycology is not easy. You don't start with any guideposts. A
birdwatcher starts out knowing a sparrow from a duck, but a beginning
(mushroomer) doesn't know a bolete from a clavaria" (M. Schaechter). I
sometimes wonder about the sparrow bit.
	Here is the last one:
	e. "Go mushrooms as often as possible. Every day if possible, then at
least once a week" (J. Cage). Now that one I can agree with without
reservations. And the opportunity is nigh! Have a great Fall.

--Reinhard Bohme
OMS President

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler

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