by Michael Stewart, 20 October 2013.

Twenty-nine eager participants arrived to learn about Mushrooms from Izi Loveluck.  We met and carpooled from the Town Center Mall or the south end of Duck Lake Road and travelled to Squirrel Crossing.

We walked the short distance to the bridge crossing the river and then Izi gave us a well informed talk on the basics of wild mushroom Identification as well as their relationship with other plants and their characteristics.  Claudia Boelcke had collected many specimens the previous day and had them on display when we arrived.  After Izi’s talk, we spread out from the campsite in small groups to observe and collect specimens.  When we returned, we had gathered many specimens of many species.  David Bedry borrowed Andrew Bryant’s cookstove and we were fortunate to have Janet May able to light it for us.

We cooked many edible samples of mushrooms including chanterelles, hedgehogs, and boletes.  Izy later identified the bolete we ate as Boletus mirabilis not edulis because edulis has a much thicker stalk and the Admiral Bolete has a “lemony” taste as reported by several tasters!   As well, the caps are different with edulis having a whitish dusting and mirabilis without”.   Claudia also brought home smoked bacon with which to cook some of the mushrooms and Michael Stewart supplied homemade bread.  Most of the participants sampled some wonderful wild mushrooms!  At the same time, a note of warning came from Nick Houser who circulated details of the Amanita Smithiana mushroom that a Savary Island resident last year wrongly identified as an edible pine with almost near fatal consequences.

 Izi’s recommended book list:
  • All That the Rain Promises and More.  David Arora.  0-89815-388-3
  • Common Mushrooms of the Northwest.  J. Duane Sept.  0-9739819-0-3
  • Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America.  David W. Fischer and Alan E. Bessette.  0-292-72079-3
  • Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Steve Trudell and Joe Ammirati. 978-0-88192-935-5
  • The Complete Mushroom Hunter.  Gary Lincoff.  978-1-59253-615-3
The first two are small, portable, guides.  The 3rd lists similar species and contains recipes.  The 4th  describes the latest classification system— and is written by two UW professors.  The last has some great general information.