The Fungus File


From a quick trip up to northern Sonoma County with my friend John. We spent about an hour traipsing through the woods to find mushrooms for his dinner tonight; we (he, really) found some black chanterelles in a couple spots that he and his wife know about. There were other fungi everywhere, though; my operating assumption is that very few of the species I was seeing were edible; but they sure are colorful, some of them. [Checking a couple of mushroom sites, this looks pretty definitively as if it’s an edible fungus called Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica); there’s a very similar species (Dacrymyces palmatus); but Mr. the giveaway appears to be that Witch’s Butter is actually a parasite of those leafy little brown fungi you can see up and down the bare, downed tree limb on which all this stuff is growing.]


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Calling All Mycologists


In Chavez Park at the Berkeley Marina earlier this month. It’s a big, hairy mushroom (this one was a good 8 inches tall). I had no idea what it was, but eventually got around to showing it to my mycologically inclined neighbor Jill. She immediately called it a “shaggy mane” (Coprinus comatus) ; it’s edible, and she and her family were going to go down to where I found it and look for more.

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