Saturday, September 30, 2017

Urban mushroom diary - 12 - summer 2017

About this series:

A chapter wherein the author gets a case of "determination depression". And he is not alone as a Polish survey demonstrates:
The primary source of knowledge on mushrooms ... are parents. There was no correlation between the source of information about mushrooms and belief in the myths about them. Knowledge of mushrooms of medical students is not greater than that of other students.
27 July 2017 - Walking uphill from the botanical garden in Duisburg brought us to the Kaiserberg war cemetery. As always I walked around and read the names and ages on the gravestones. I want to show the fallen soldiers that people still care about them, even after 100 years.
In a shady corner I saw a group of small mushrooms. These are notoriously difficult to determine. I can only guess. Maybe Mycena or Inocybe.
28 July 2017 - Along an asphalt path through the fields around Kalkar I again saw a difficult mushroom. This could be a Marasmius. Or a Mycena or Cystolepiota. And I'm starting to suffer from "determination depression". The pressure to give names to the mushrooms is destroying my enjoyment of them. Now I see what a monumental work Adam did when he named the animals:
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
And as far as I could determine mushrooms are not mentioned in the Bible. And this could be Inocybe, Pluteus or Marasmius.
As an inhabitant of a big city I'm predestined to be bad at mushrooming:
Residents of large cities have more difficulties in distinguishing between edible and poisonous mushrooms than those living in villages and small towns. People practicing mushrooming regularly, retain proper habits during the harvesting and processing of mushrooms. Irrational ways of distinguishing edible mushrooms from poisonous are less often rejected by inexperienced people than by those frequently gathering mushrooms.
27 July 2017 - The newspaper I read in the hotel writes:
The academic hospital in Hannover has received five patients with Amanita Phalloides (death cap) poisoning. The came from east European countries and thought the mushroom was edible. Last year the hospital accepted refugees with mushroom poisoning who mistook the mushroom for an edible one, common in their home countries.
This was a very bad year for mushroom poisonings in Northern Germany. And many people are predestined to accidents with mushroom consumption:
Nearly 20% of respondents, regardless of their own experience and self-assessment of their competence in discriminating mushrooms believe that after culinary preparation they can safely consume even deadly poisonous species.
But even I can see that this is not an Amanita but a species of button mushroom, Agaricus. This mushroom has black spores, not white. But which one is it? Agaricus augustus, Agaricus bitorquis or something else?
28 July 2017 - While burning a candle in Grieth, in the church of St. Peter and St. Paul I noticed that the box of matches was decorated by a mushroom design.
Along the bicycle path from Kalkar to Wissel there we lots of mushrooms growing from the wood chips. I'll not even try to determine these.
29 July 2017 - In the woods of Kleve we saw these beautiful geometric patterns. Probably Trametes hirsuta.

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