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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Number 19: Hunt and Identify Mushrooms

Every year when I go out berry picking I see lots and lots of mushrooms.  I've always wanted to take some time to try to identify some of them.  I friend lent me this really great, totally 80's mushroom guide.  It has a dichotomous key in it which makes it much easier to identify unknown varieties.  The difficult thing about trying to identify mushrooms in this area though, is that many of the species are unknown.  Some species are very similar to the species in this and other books, but they are really never spot on.  The other thing about mushroom identification is that their are many varieties of mushrooms that can have nearly the exact same characteristics, but one is edible and the other is poisonous.  That's the part that makes it nearly impossible to ever really feel okay with eating any of the mushrooms because you never really are certain about your identification.  The only mushrooms that I certain I can identify correctly every time is called the shrimp mushroom.  It is edible, but I'm still leery about eating it.  Maybe next year I'll start with just a little nibble, then work my way up from there.

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