the long awaited mushroom workshop

So, the show that I pre­pared a long time for is can­celled today :( because of unsta­ble weath­er (cold, windy, 40% chance of rain — it’s an out­door market).

But I sup­pose it’s for the bet­ter, I’m real­ly thank­ful for a day off after a busy week. AND! I now have time to show you pic­tures from the mush­room iden­ti­fi­ca­tion work­shop that Mike and I attend­ed last week­end! The work­shop was put on by the High Park Nature Cen­tre. I’ve been want­i­ng to take the work­shop for the past 2 years, but it was always dur­ing mid-term time. This is the first year in a long time that I don’t have papers to write on a weekend!

mushroom workshop

Our day start­ed with an extreme­ly infor­ma­tive and ani­mat­ed lec­ture from our friend­ly instruc­tor, Richard Aaron (he does lots of mushroom/fungi work­shops through­out Ontario and some­times in the U.S. too, you can check out his web­site if you’re inter­est­ed). It was­n’t a for­ag­ing work­shop so we were not eat­ing the spec­i­men we found. Armed with hand mag­ni­fy­ing glass­es and field guides, we were ready to explore!


Mike exam­in­ing some blood foot myce­na, which have red liq­uid inside their stems.


Found a piece of bark with the myceli­um of the mush­rooms exposed. I used to think that myceli­um are like the roots of mush­rooms but they’re actu­al­ly the veg­e­ta­tive parts of fun­gi, like under­ground branch­es, I guess. And the mush­rooms that are above ground are the fruits or “fruit­ing bod­ies” of fungi.


Like a sculp­ture. So beautiful.


Our group gath­er­ing around a fall­en tree. We could eas­i­ly spend hours look­ing at all the dif­fer­ent kinds of fun­gi grow­ing in the nooks and crevices of the trunk. Like this slime mould here.

And this troop of fuzzy feet mushrooms.


These are bioluminescent!

luminescent panellus

And I can’t remem­ber what these ones are :S But they are beau­ti­ful nonetheless.




A pig skin puff ball. Unlike the edi­ble giant puff ball mush­rooms, this one is dead­ly poi­so­nous, full of poi­so­nous spores inside!

pork skin puff ball

Don’t eat it, bear! This one is def­i­nite­ly poisonous.



Not sure if I can iden­ti­fy many mush­rooms after the work­shop, but it was a lot of fun! :D and I did learn that:

1) Mush­rooms are a kind of fun­gi, but not all fun­gi are mushrooms.

2) Toad­stools mean ined­i­ble mushrooms.

Hop­ing to get a mush­room field guide and do more explor­ing before snow starts to fall! Maybe in the mean­time I’ll just down­load a mush­room iden­ti­fi­ca­tion app…

And if you live in the Toron­to area, the High Park Nature Cen­tre runs a lot of oth­er work­shops for adults and kids through­out the year. Check them out if you’re look­ing for a fun nature activ­i­ty on a week­end or evening!

Hope you’re hav­ing a good week­end! We will return to our reg­u­lar pro­gram­ming of 12 Days of Wood­land Crea­tures next week, stay tuned! :D





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