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!

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

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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.

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Like a sculpture. So beautiful.

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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.

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And this troop of fuzzy feet mushrooms.

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These are bioluminescent!

luminescent panellus

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

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

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

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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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