It was very exciting to be the least knowledgeable of 40 or so mushroom lovers on the 39th Annual Cain Foray. Apparently, between us we collected and identified over 250 different fungi. Thank you to the Mycological Society of Toronto for being so welcoming and generous with your knowledge.
It was amazing to watch the many amateur and professional mycologists Identifying the mushrooms as they came in. The special guest was Walter Sturgeon, the author of Mushrooms of the Northeast: A Simple Guide to Common Mushrooms and many articles on mycology. I won a signed copy of his book!
On Saturday night Chefs Dwayne and Garrett and their team cooked up a tasting table with Chicken of the Woods, Chanterelles, Boletes, and Tempura battered Aborted Entoloma (more appetizingly known as the Shrimp of the Woods). Absolutely delicious, thanks guys.
I will return to the Cain Foray next year for sure, and I will have to up my game.
a) I need to bring a proper basket. The knapsack full of LCBO bags doesn’t cut it and marked me as a total nube. Plus many of my more delicate finds (including Destroying Angel, Amanita bisporigera!) were destroyed. Well, I guess it serves her right.
b) I can’t rely on the iPhone to take decent pictures and sometimes information from those pics can be crucial to identifying a specimen. Plus they will be much nicer for the blog. Next time I’ll bring the Canon and some flat panel LED lights.
c) It’s time to brush up on my Latin and start learning the scientific names of fungi other than the ones I cultivate. These cats are dead serious about identification of all fungi. The most daunting thing about the learning curve is that the experts say the Latin names are constantly changing now (partially due to DNA testing I assume). Hopefully I’ll learn the right ones first. I’ve ordered Mushrooms Demystified on Weird and Wonderful Wild Jan Thornhill’s suggestion, I hope the newest edition is up to date.
Below is a gallery of pics from the Foray. I’ll just throw them up for now and hopefully get around to labeling them someday.