Have you really paid attention to the polypores? My friend Colleen pointed out that, when there are so many other mushrooms in the woods, you did not. Since there were no other mushrooms to speak about at this time of the year, the polypores made a real showing in this mycoblitz, making it unique among mycoblitzes.

Kevin Sadlier, Vice President and founder of the Mycological Society of Marin County invited Dr. Tom Bruns, Professor Plant & Microbial Biology, Berkeley, to participate in a Mycoblitz of Point Reyes this past Sunday and he graciously agreed to come. It meant that we would be taking part in a scientific endeavor that would measure how many mushrooms survive the harsh conditions of our dry Spring and Summer.

Twelve enthusiastic persons signed up for the foray. Dr. Bruns brought 40 students to the foray and provided them with a lovely yellow basket. They spread around the peninsula searching for whatever they could find.

And against all expections, find they did. A large, fresh Laetiporus gilbertonii (Chicken of the Woods) was brought in by one of the students. It is the first time I have seen this mushroom, which Kevin said was a very good eat, although a bit acidic. Another student found a yummy edible: the cauliflower mushroom, Sparassis radicata. And someone else found a reishi, Ganoderma oregonensis, another first for me. Of course there were a couple of “regular” mushrooms such as the earpick, Auriscalpium vulgare, growing out of a pine cone. And Sierra, one of our attendees, found a specimen of the Amanita vaginata group which did not make it to the table. Kevin Sadlier and other students found a few chanterelles, not sure if C. formosus or C. roseocanus, probably roseocanus. One of my favorite slime molds, Wolf’s Milk (Lycogala epidendrum), also made an appearance.

And then there were the polypores that I can remember seeing at the display table: Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor), False Turkey Tail (Stereum hirsutum), Gilled polypore (Trametes betulina), Red Belted Conk (Fomitopsis pinicola), Western Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma brownii), Rosy Polypore (Rhodofomes cajanderi), and the Dyer’s Polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii). There were many, many more. If Dr. Bruns shares the specimens’ list, we will share with you.

It was an amazing experience.