Rosy and I went mushroom hunting by Mendocino for her birthday. This one made me feel like less of a man.

The foray was organized by the Mycological Society of San Francisco who also happens to run that amazing Mushroom store in the Ferry building.

Our cabins were built under FDR's original New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps program. One of the organizers said that the camp is the only other currently used CCC building besides camp David. I have a feeling that may be untrue. Still good 'n old though.


Coral shrooms

These are some of the other mushroom hunters. There were a lot of biology and mycology students along with several other older folk who all carried a vast wealth of mushroom knowledge and scientific names. We knew close to nothing. Luckily, there were a couple other folks like the couple above who we could relate.

This is the most photographed mushroom. It's the one from Alice and Wonderland. Although this slug has no problem munching away at this, don't eat it. This one will make you sick, not hallucinate. Don't fret, those "liberty" mushrooms were found too...of course, it's in Mendocino.

This is one of several buildings of this shape with rooftop lookouts in the seaside own of Mendocino.

One giant coral mushroom.

Yep, that's a mushroom.

These mushrooms that grow on leaves were my favorite.

These only grow on pine cones.

This is just the samples of our group's table after a one-day foray. Apparently there are 4000-5000 species of mushroom in California alone. They're everywhere once you start looking.

These shoot out spores when you squeeze 'em. Neat.

We ate all of our edible mushrooms.

The "rock stars" of mycology were all there including this guest visitor from New York who leads forays through central park. He was really entertaining and definitely one of the more charismatic mushroom experts. He also enlightened us on mushroom farming leaf cutter ants.

The leaf cutters provide leaves that are taken back to their farms to grow mushrooms which they must have to feed their young. These can be giant farms, some as large as football fields that a human could freely walk around in. The specific duties of each ant in the colony is fascinating. There are ants that ride on the backs of carrier ants to fend off flies from laying eggs which could infect their mushroom farms. Additionally, the queen and other select key ants carry varieties of anti bacteria which they may need at times to attack the bacterias that attack their farms. Now, there are yeasts that have developed to attack the ants' anti bacteria that attacks the bacteria that is attacking the mushrooms and so nature goes on.

Anyway, I'd highly recommend this to anyone looking for a northern adventure in the woodlands and likes mushrooms.

Speaking of shrooms. Ever see Alex Pardee's "Guilty Smurf"? Brilliant!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I can't believe what a myco-nerd you are. Next year we'll run with the best of them!