Mushroom trip

Mushroom trip
by Lynne Macdonald
22 October 2023

The mushroom excursion to the Duck Lake /Squirrel Crossing area was a well-attended and much appreciated outing, in perfect weather.  As promised, Izy Loveluck lead an exploration of “mushroomology”, sharing her extensive experience with identification, the related cautions, and some cooking tips.

We began by walking along a pre-scouted trail, with Izy pointing out species of interest, with a focus on edible species.  With eyes now attuned to the landscape, we set off in small groups or individually to scavenger hunt what we could come across.  We were instructed to respectfully gather only a sampling of any patch we encountered or to only take a photograph of anything that seemed especially unusual or was standing alone.

A dozen or so different mushrooms were readily found and brought back for group examination.  The method for identification of these group finds was demonstrated by Izy.  We saw examples of Pantha Cap (close relative of Death Cap), Coral, Lobster, Bolete family, Jelly Tooth, Witches Butter, Milky Cap and Russula.  Everyone received a “How to Look at a Mushroom” handout and a sheet to facilitate spore examination.  Recommended field guides were on display, with a list to be emailed to attendees.

A highlight of the trip was Izy’s simple sauté of a huge Parasol mushroom, in butter with salt and pepper, one she had picked yesterday from her property.  Samplings of the dish were shared and unanimously enjoyed.

Many thanks to Howard Bridger for coordinating the trip and providing the cookstove and, of course, to Izy Loveluck for sharing her vast store of fungi knowledge and her humour.