Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cornell University Mushroom Blog

I came across a really reliable and interesting blog the other day. You can find it here.This blog goes by the name of Cornell mushroom blog. I really like the format of their blog. It is really organized and the mushrooms added on the post boxes is a compliment to the eye. I also like how much this blog fools around with their words, its interesting and keeps me sucked in to reading it.

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The great part about this blog is that it has diversity, The posts they have fungus but not are strictly fungus they like to have fun with their posts. For example they replaced the Homer Simpson Geopets plant fur with hair like fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus. This fungus is pretty simple and grows on poop and other decaying matter. In other words its a perfect substitute for Homer Simpsons “hair”. That specific type of fungus is harmless and actually does not contain a cap at the top of the stem.They have sporangiophores specialized hypha bearing sporangia. These little spheres contain spores.

These posts are informative and helpful for someone looking for a good read. You will definitely learn a couple of things you didn't know about fungus if you check this blog out. A deadly Russula, rhabdomyolysis is what you get if you accidentally or purposefully eat that Deadly Russula. What it does is it breaks down muscle tissue, then the lungs and heart stop. The body will release myglobin, this causes kidney failure. Its first symptoms after ingestion are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other rather alarming symptoms This deadly Russula has been spotted in southeastern US, China, and Tiawan. This blog is definitely credible. The reason this blog is credible is because it has comments and its a university. Another reason this blog is credible is multiple people are on the blog who have great access to knowledge of fungus.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Healthy Start



All though a lot of mushrooms can kill you, they can also be very important to a healthy diet. Mushrooms are a great source for calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is very important because it helps strengthen bones and teeth while supporting the function to form blood clots when you get injured. Vitamin D is essential because it greatly helps our immune systems, bones, and intake of calcium. Along with tasting amazing mushrooms have several different types of textures; some can be leathery while others could resemble Styrofoam. Some can be really soft and have a tear like tough rubber.

Lactarius_indigo_48568_edit.jpgMushrooms can also be delicious. You can find them in all different sorts of foods...even ice cream. Most people put candy caps in ice cream because it has a maple syrup flavor. Another awesome feature of candy caps is if you let it dry correct, you can fill your entire estate with the sweet aroma of maple syrup. The fruiting body of a fungus is mistakenly seen as gross, in the form of decay or even death. Even though mushrooms are responsible for a lot of the decomposition of a great majority of the dead waste on planet earth, they are still seen as ugly.


In all reality mushrooms can be pretty or colorful. Like the Indigo milk cap (Lactarius indigo) the entire mushroom is blue to blue-gray and has green stains when old or mature. This beauty can be found on the ground under pine and oak in Arizona and possibly New Mexico. It is not very common in the United States. But according to all the rain promises and more it is tasty as well as colorful. Here is a great recipe to get you started on a healthy diet with mushrooms!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Plastic Eating Fungus

Could this be the answer? We all wonder when the waste on earth will take a toll, well here is the answer… Fungus that can yes, eat plastic. I find this so wonderful, seeing as we have a serious issue in the world with our trash and the mass amount of food we consume.  the great part about this is its really easy. First they make small edible cup shaped things the designers call "FU". These are made from Agar it’s a seaweed substitute that is mixed with starch and sugar, it will hold the fungus and plastic. The fungus that is edible is a mass of white mycelium. One of the really cool parts about this is that you can add in spices of your choice to the “FUs” giving it your favorite flavor. All the magic happens in a large incubator like machine that is called a mutarium growth sphere.

To start the growing process you first have to put the plastic under a UV light to sterilize the plastic and start the degrading process. Next you place plain “FUs” into the growth sphere. Then you pop some of the plastic you wish to be recycled. After that place a little of the solution that contains the fungus sprout on the plastic in the “FUs”. A couple of weeks will roll by and you will have yourself a delicious meal waiting in your growth mutarium. 


I hope this idea becomes a super big thing and I hope that every home may contain a mutarium growth sphere. I can’t wait to get one of these growth spheres so I can learn how to prepare the “FUs” and make a scrumptious meal for a friend or family. It amazes me how far we have come to a cleaner and safer environment, and it makes me really happy that fungi is helping us make that change!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Forest of force


It is quite the day for me. I feel as if today is going to be one of those euphoric days. I get to spend today by myself, in the rain, in the mud. I take in the rain, the energy, the watching eyes of all life forms. I start in the dark, tall forests of Humboldt County. I can feel the love and need for each other, the network that is so connected and in-sync. One can say they feel what I have felt, but if you haven't spent countless hours walking and examining, then you would have absolutely no idea what I am preaching about. It's like feeling the greatest force in the world, and it comes at us like earthquake rolling beneath, waves of feelings and emotions. I wish you could know the things I have seen. The part of the world I’m talking about is beautiful, elegant, and sweet. This piece of the world is small, large, deadly, and even infinite. Without it, we would be nothing but dust in the wind, albeit colorful dust in the wind. These beings are colorful and essential to production of food, health, and life.

 They grow so close to us, they live among us, in us. Infectious or not, they will be here to clean up our horrible atrocities. Whether it be war, pollution, or outright violence, they will be here to break down our waste. One thing that bothers me is that they are so feared, so well-known for their destruction and evil, when in all reality, they are something to be feared and loved at the very same time. One must be careful when pursuing these weapons, these lovers, these givers of life. Most are fearful that their children will consume these perfect creatures, but really the children are essential to the gathering of the superb life givers. Reason one, children are short, and being low to the ground is essential to the finding of these small but resourceful beings.  Reason two, children are energetic and fast moving. Reason three, they are always willing to help and it makes them feel useful. It hurts me that people continue today to ignore and shun the use of such a medicinal and beneficial life-form.


 So I set out on this journey, a hunt, if you will. I am not searching for anything in particular, more or less something beautiful, smart, and amazing. Starting down the path everything begins to sway, left then right, then left again repeating motions of joy and ecstasy. I can feel it all, the branches brushed my luminescent, yet fuzzy face. The further I reached into the forest, the more I begin to understand life. I feel as if it is a new start, a new beginning. The large ferns grow like masses of human ribs, curving and extending to something. The redwoods feel like forever… I continue on and meet, very quickly, an insect of flight. He moves along just as I do using me as a landing pad. I don't mind; it makes me feel useful and interesting.

Finally, after two straight hours of continuous leg movement I reached my destination. A forest floor comprised of little yet large creators of this elegant rock that we call home. I feel right, I feel true, most of all I am home. My heart grew as big as my body and as strong as an ox. I wished I could root myself to the ground and take to the customs of these wondrous creatures. If I had the chance, without consequences, I would move there, thrive there. Most think horrible thoughts about this idea, maybe thinking I am insane or mad, when in reality I am the most sane. I set out to expand my mind, with book in hand and a magnifying glass in the other. I found what my heart desired most. The Mushroom Forest.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Mushroom Bible



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All the rain promises and more... is such a helpful book while being out in the field. It has helped me identify quite a few mushrooms. I actually came across this one (left) in the forest while I was wandering around, Shaggy stalked parasol is its most common name (Lepiota clypeolaria) its other name is (Lepiota ventriosospora). (This mushroom, yes it resembles a human breast) it is NOT edible. It is poisonous and is usually less than three inches broad. Anyways this proves how fantastic and beautiful this book is and I am still identifying many different fungus in my area.
 This is a coral fungus. Ramariopsis Kunzei, White coral fungus. Again, within ten minutes I had this one all figured out. I love this handbook so much because it has accurate descriptions of the fungus of which you are  in pursuit of. This Fungi bible is also a real tease if you can't go hunting when you want, I usually  read this book before I go to sleep and I can't sleep. Im not saying this is a bad thing, I just get crazy ideas like I could go out at twelve a.m. on a school night. Where I live I could walk a mile and come back with a whole bunch of fungi and this is great don't get me wrong but my mycophilia really kicks in at night and forces insomnia upon my mind.

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What I’m getting at is this book will convert you if you have a slight doubt about going out on your own to find wild fungi. David Arora wrote the perfect pocket guide. The first page you flip to brings you straight to the fungus that you have in mind or in hand. All the rain promises and more... has a quick key that allows you to get where you need to be in the book within minutes. The key is organized by just distinct visuals, for example if it doesn't have a ring on the stalk then you may flip to page 14-32. Some guides are bulky and large, but this one is paperback and is easily flipped though. Honestly,you don't have to be a professional mycologist to identify fungus with this book, because he simplifies identifying them. In the preface of the book David Arora asserts “each mushroom is illustrated with one or more color photographs accompanied by a concise, easy-to-understand list of identifying features plus information on edibility and habitat.” I am going to come out and say it, i want to be David Arora he really inspires me to push further and further to become a mycologist. I am hopefully getting a job at a local plant nursery so I can learn more about the biology of plants because a lot of mushrooms have certain trees, ferns, shrubs, and plants that they favor to grow around or on. I feel like when i get older I will have a chain of trailers, all with regulated temperatures with many different types of mushrooms.
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I wish that one day I could meet Arora in person, just because he is so intelligible. I feel like he could really break down fungus to a person simply because he wrote All that the Rain Promises and more…. I see Arora as a goal to me, I dream of being fungus smart like Arora. When i talk to other people about fungi i get really weird looks and it makes me cringe madly, that doesn't help my position at all but people are so uninformed. I know that one day we will achieve greatness as human beings by getting more in touch with our world, mushrooms are so beneficial to the growth and strength of many things in our beautiful world.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The First Identification

 


Hygrocybe Coccinea
(Righteous Red Waxy Cap)

This my friends is the Righteous Red Waxy Cap. It is very red and really easily spotted. I actually didn't find this mushroom, my friend Jacob noticed this one. This mushroom Sprouts late in the mushroom season with other waxy caps. It is easily confused with Scarlet Waxy Cap (Hygrocybe punicea). Its edible, but I didn't even risk it. The righteous red waxy cap is apart of  the mushroom genus hygrocybe. Most of the mushrooms that are apart of this family are colorful and contain slimy mushrooms. The hygrocybe family is normally small and has ringless stems. I "attempted" to gather a spore print from a smaller cap, one of the mushrooms had a damaged stem and was perfect for a first trial. I read online that I should leave the cap on black paper over night to have a sure chance. So I placed the cap under a glass cup and fell fast asleep. I woke up roughly about eight or nine hours later filled with excitement.
(Spore print) White
 I looked and saw a whole collection of white spores gathered. I wasn't really sure what I should have used under the cap to contrast the color of the spores, since I didn't have any black paper I just used a small square of foil and it seemed to work just fine. The cap in the picture was, for the most part dry and felt a little odd, like a soft  furry feeling. One thing I found odd about how colorful this mushroom is that it has no distinct smell. I got all of my friends to take a huge whiff and they didn't know either. I guess you can't judge a book by its cover. If you want more information on the Righteous Red Waxy Cap then click the link below.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

My Inspiration for Fungi

I don't seem to know why I have this undying pain to know about fungi, but it doesnt really bother me.If I had the choice to change my passion, i wouldn't. I actually love it when I walk around town and have to stop every ten minutes to get a good look or picture of a fungi I haven't discovered yet. I feel that the worst part about mushroom hunting or stumbling upon mushrooms is that if you find a mushroom you can't just pop it into your mouth without having consequences. Now don't get me wrong, having deadly mushrooms is what makes collecting a mushroom worth the hunt, because you have to spend so much time identifying and comparing.The fact that there are deadly and edible mushrooms enthralls me and makes it extremely risky, which pushes my competitive habits to go all the way through with identifying the fungi down to the spore print.

I love mushrooms and I could sit in front of a fungus that is new to my eyeballs, for hours. Finding a new fungus is like finding a briefcase full of $100 bills. My friends can't stand when we go on walks in the park because every other 30 or so feet I will encounter a new fungus and take a speedy 90 degree turn. Sometimes my friends will just wait and keep talking, other times they will keep walking. To be completey honest it kinda bothers me,but I realized if I needed to be some where I wouldn't want someone to stop every 10 minutes to look at a fungus they dont particularly have any interest in. I think fungi is my passion and I want to pursue a career in this subject. Fungi is my life and I want to keep it that way.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

All about the Turkey Tail fungus



So recently I was hanging out with my good friends and it started to get dark outside. I had kept on nagging my friends to go on a walk with me to go look for fungus. On the way to the school in the town there is quite a bit of plant life in Humboldt so it wasn't long before we came across this beauty. Trametes Veriscolor  or better known as turkey tail. According to Bastyr University a natural medicine university, is running a trial on whether or not Turkey tail is a medicinal fungus. Turkey tail is believed by the Chinese that it is an immune system booster, and the people at Bastyr University think that if you use it during chemotherapy it could help keep the patient strong. The great people over in Bastyr University are testing to see if the extract of the fungus will help patients with advanced prostate cancer, and they are pending on the FDA if they can test the fungus on women with breast cancer.


 Isn't it is bonkers that one of the first fungus that I encounter on my first hunt is such a big part of a  $5.4 billion dollar trial. If you are interested in learning more about Turkey tail and its role in this trail then go here. Anyways this bracket fungus was conveniently placed on this stump here and is a natural home remedy in Asia.  Here in america this fungi is still being tested to decide if it has real medicinal properties, to be completely honest I want this fungi to be actually medicinal. My main reason i want this to be medicinal is the fact you can find it almost anywhere. Turkey tail takes over downed or water logged wood. I really like turkey tail because it isn't horribly hard to identify it from the other types of bracket fungi and it actually looks like a turkeys tail.

Great Guide/Identification website for Beginner Mycologists

If you want a great site to explore picked/identified fungus almost everywhere, then go to this website here. I want to say NOW this is an open source website where anyone can come and post pictures of the fungus and they come across. The people on this website that comment will give you a sure chance of it being the fungus that you have or are currently looking for but, that doesn't make it okay to go out pick "edibles" and pop the venomous fruit into your mouth hole without being 100% percent sure. So this post is just to let you know that this site is great!

Monday, January 12, 2015

I know absolutely nothing about mushrooms

I am cringing in my chair currently, at the fact that I know little to know nothing about mushroom science and culture. So I am here to GET INFORMED, and help you learn a little about how great and useful the fungi can really be.

Anyway, one long and plentiful day ago, I was walking home from my friend's house and I just happened to look down and to the left at the most perfect time and saw an Amanita Muscaria Button, which was the first mushroom that seriously caught my eye and really drew me into the world of fungi. There is basically a garbage disposal just below our very own feet! I have many questions about mushrooms and fungi that in hope we can answer for the both of our benefit! I want this blog to be like Xylem, I want to come out of my roots and help support the rest of the plant with water, minerals, and life!

Fungus has always been a wondrous find even if it is just to look at. I consider myself to be a mycophile, mushroom lover. I get joy out of going out with a flash light, note book, and a camera to spend hours studying sketching. I want to be able to walk into the forest,marsh,dunes etc and be able to identify a fungus by its scientific name and species. I need to be able to tell my friend that it will be fine that the random fungus your child ate is harmless or may cause a serious injury or even death. Another main reason is that I live in Humboldt County. This place is filled with the little buggers. Small, big, beautiful, all sorts of different kinds flavors, textures, and smells. I just cant wait to get  Fungus Smart!