On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Friends of Boggs Mountain hosted a mushroom talk and walk for beginners, featuring Darvin DeShazer, Co-founder and Science Advisor of the Sonoma County Mycological Association, and Chairman of the Science Department at St. Vincent High School in Petaluma. Almost 50 forest visitors attended the brief talk, followed by a walk in the forest to find and hopefully, identify mushrooms.
New as well as seasoned mushroomers excitedly took off for the woods to see what they could find both on the ground and in the trees. Despite the meager rainfall this season, several mushrooms were found, in particular two diminutive yet fascinating Strobilurus species – delicate little white mushrooms that grow on pine cones.
After a couple of hours poking in the duff, people returned to the tables and Darv helped identify the ‘loot’ and answer questions. While Lake County is not particularly well-known for its mushrooms (the primo destination is coastal Mendocino and Humboldt Counties where Darv often goes to hunt both for the table as well as for research), some years produce prolific fruitings of milk caps, boletes, russulas, and sulfur shelves at Boggs.
Participating in mushroom club forays and attending fairs and meetings is the best way of becoming more familiar with the fungal world. The field guide by Sonoma resident and author David Arora: All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms, is also a good start to identify and learn about some of the most common mushrooms in our area. To find the nearest mushroom club in your area, consult the North American Mycological Association Website.
Many thanks to Darv DeShazer for his visit, CalFire for the permits, and all who participated in this event!