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!