Thursday, September 10, 2015

Urban mushroom diary - autumn update

July 2015 - Watched many mushroom lectures on Youtube and the only thing I could understand  was: "Mushrooms are weird organisms. They're aliens with extremely complicated life-cycles and growth patterns."
2 august 2015 - My first mushroom of 2015 was encounterd in Rotterdam along the bicycle path to the city center. Busy footpath and active dog-walking area. Still the mushrooms had time to mature and hopefully spread their spores. I've seen them here before and I suspect that they may have been planted by the German artist Klaus Weber. I think it's an Agaricus Bitorquis.
9 august 2015 - One unidentified mushroom was seen in the bushes in the botanical garden in Utrecht. Looks a bit like Leucoagaricus leucothites.
Utrecht - I bought a beautiful book about mushrooms by Jens Petersen in the bookshop of the botanical garden. This again confirmed that these are weird alien creatures. Genetically closer to humans than to plants.
13 august 2015 - A beautiful group of Leccinum duriusculum was seen along another bicycle path, busy footpath and dog-walking area. I took one home for further research and it had a wonderful strong mushroom smell. A Czech mushroom site calls it "excellent" but a Dutch mushroom site says "good when young, unpleasant garlic taste when older". They grow in symbiosis with poplar trees.
18 august 2015 - In the Kralingen wood. Possibly Laetiporus sulphureus. This one should be edible, who would have thought that! But I would never dare to eat it without expert guidance.
23 august 2015 - Puffballs in the Ockenburg estate in The Hague, possibly Lycoperdon umbrinum (umber-brown puffball). Likes sandy soils (yes) and coniferous woods (no).
Ockenburg - Possibly Bjerkandera adusta. I have no other method of identification than walking through the whole mushroom encyclopedia of 270 pages and searching for a look-alike. None of my identifications should be taken seriously!
Ockenburg - Possibly Psathyrella marcescibilis. My wife: "Please stop photographing everything you see!".
Ockenburg - Spooky fungal layers on dead wood. Probably not Meriopsis corium.
26 august 2015 - A beautiful group of Agaricus (possibly bitorquis) between the road and the bicycle path. Unfortunately the (almost nonexistent!) grass was mown the next day and all the mushrooms were shredded.
6 september 2015 - In the Kralingse Bos along a bicycle path. Neither Agaricus impudicus nor Agaricus campestris give a good optical fit.
8 september 2015 - A small group of mushrooms between the road and the bicycle path. Another species in the same place where the grass had been mown in august. Subtle colors and markings. Difficult to photograph with a mobile phone. Could be Tricholoma myomyces or some other member of this family.

9 september 2015 - A video is playing in the Rotterdam metro on the platform TV's. The Rotterdam park forester says: "You can eat any mushroom in the woods. But some of them only once ... so it's better not to do that."

Summary: I'm totally hopeless at mycology, just like I'm hopeless at geology. But it's fun to try!


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