SVIMS Spring Foray May 2024 Royal Roads

SVIMS members made one final spring outing, this time to Royal Roads. About 20 people, under the leadership of Andy MacKinnon and Kem Luther, searched diligently for mushrooms for almost 90 minutes, but not many mushrooms revealed themselves. A recent spate of dry weather had ended the spring mushroom season early.

About a dozen species were recorded (iNaturalist records are here).  The mushroom in greatest abundance was the Panther Amanita, Amanita pantheroides. About 15 caps of it showed up. Some were small and old and had only a slight resemblance to the mushroom seen in field guide pictures. 

A big thanks to all the event organizers. Photos by Steven Strybosch.

An early coralroot, Corallorhiza mertensiana, had popped up. Andy uses it to explain mycoheterotrophy.
Amanita pantherinoides, with remnants of the universal veil still on the cap.
End-of-foray wrapup.

Mycologist Jim Ginns, 1938-2024

Picture of Jim downloaded from Keith Seifert article, used by Creative Commons license.
Picture of Ann from the Okanagan Naturalist’s Club article. Photographer unknown.

SVIMS is sad to hear of the passing of mycologist Dr. Jim Ginns. He died on April 29, 2024.

Jim and his wife Anne retired to Penticton, BC in 1997. He has made presentations to SVIMS several times and was a member of the Pacific Northwest Key Council. He is the author of numerous scientific publications including Polypores of British Columbia.

Anne died in January of this year. The South Okanagan Naturalist’s Club has published a tribute to Anne and her work.

Jim and Anne were also noted conservationists. For nearly 50 years they owned an ecologically diverse 23-hectare parcel of land bordering Thetis Lake Regional Park. It was their goal to see the land permanently protected. The Ginns donated a significant portion of the value of the property to our regional land trust Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) to achieve this goal.

In 2018, they also donated their 42-hectare property in Gatineau, Quebec to the municipality of Cantley as a nature reserve, now called Parc écologique Ginns.

SVIMS Metchosin Wilderness Park Foray 2024

Along the trail

SVIMS organized a 2024 spring foray at Metchosin Wilderness Park. About 30 people, including two foray managers (Steve Strybosch and Denise Furst) and two foray leaders (Kem Luther and David Walde), gathered at the Clapham Road entrance on Saturday, April 20, 2024, to spend two hour hunting down fungal fructifications. About a quarter of the group were on their first organized foray.

This was the third consective year for a foray at this season and place. Kem Luther, one of the leaders, handed out a list of about eighty mushrooms that had been identified in the earlier forays. By the end of the day, despite the dryer conditions, participants had found about 18 of the previously seen mushrooms. They also found about seven that were not on the list.

Results from the foray were recorded on iNaturalist with the help of Elora Adamson and Ann McCall, who were especially careful to take multiple photos from many angles and distances. As usual, the exact counts may change as experts from around the world weigh in on the iNaturalist posts. One of the most interesting specimens — probably a species of Inocybe that needs a new name — was vouchered.

Photos by Steven Strybosch.

Kem applies a chemical test (smell)) to the ID of a mushroom
Part of the largest clump of macrofungi seen on the foray--Mica Caps galore

Bryophilous fungi of BC–Randall Mindell–May 14

Mniaecia jungermanniae, a tiny inoperculate ascomycete growing on leafy liverworts of the order Jungermanniales. Photo by Johannes Merz.

SVIMS Monthly Meeting on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

Place: St Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd, Victoria

Live Meeting with Zoom option. Zoom Link will be emailed to SVIMS members a few days before meeting.

Starts at 7 pm – please don’t arrive before 6:30. Bring mushrooms for ID and display.

Presenter: Randal Mindell

Talk Title “Bryophilous fungi of Coastal British Columbia

Mosses, liverworts and hornworts are particularly diverse in British Columbia, home to roughly 80% of bryophyte species known to occur in Canada. Despite the abundance of these groups, little is known about the diversity and ecology of the fungi that make their home in and on them. This talk will explore the nature, antiquity, ubiquity and relevance of the relationship between fungi and bryophytes while presenting a mix of historical data and recent observations from the region.

Dr. Randal Mindell is a Comox Valley-based cryptogamic botanist with a particular interest in liverworts and crustose lichens. He completed his B. Sc. at UBC and Ph.D. at the University of Alberta.

SVIMS Stropharia Cultivation Workshop Spring 2024

On the weekend of March 16-17, 2024, nearly 40 SVIMS members learned about adding something new to their gardens this spring. The m orning and afternoon workshops were hosted by member Steve Fischer.

The workshops, centred on cultivating King Stropharia/wine cap (Stropharia rugosoannulata) mushrooms, taught the basics of backyard mushroom cultivation, including creating the ideal environment for King Stropharia.

In preparation for the workshop, Steve gathered and prepared the necessary materials, including multiple substrates, mushroom spawn, and pots for members to take home mini stropharia beds. Generous donations of wine cap spawn by Grow Mushrooms Canada and pots by Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm were greatly appreciated!

SVIMS members enjoyed far better weather for this workshop than the last one. The spring day was warm and bright. Each group worked together to build a full-size King Stropharia bed to learn the fundamentals. They then assembled a mini version that they could take home to try their hand at producing these prized edibles.

Mush luck to these new cultivators!

Emma continues to add spawn while Steve describes ideal conditions for mushroom cultivation

Steve demonstrates adding spawn to the mushroom bed

Members take turns adding sawdust to the bed

Steve demonstrates straw bale inoculation

Monthly Meeting April 9 Marty Kranabetter (SVIMS Members Only)

SVIMS Monthly Meeting April 9, 2024 at

St Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd, Victoria, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Live Meeting with Zoom option

Start at 7 pm – please don’t arrive before 6:30.
Zoom Link will be emailed to SVIMS members a few days before meeting.

Our presenter will be Marty Kranabetter. Below his photo, see more about his talk and his background. His talk will be

Recent findings on the ecology of ectomycorrhizal  fungi across coastal British Columbia

Marty Kranabetter photo

 Forests along coastal British Columbia face a wide range in growing conditions, from very poor soils (low in nitrogen or phosphorus availability) to highly productive sites. The capacity of trees to thrive in these contrasting ecosystems is dependent upon their symbiotic fungi (‘ectomycorrhiza’). In this presentation I will review recent studies that demonstrate how communities of ectomycorrhizal fungi are adapted to our local soils. In addition, I will summarize ongoing studies into the diversity of ectomycorrhizal fungi, and how forest management practices can help retain the impressive fungal biodiversity of our coastal landscapes.  

Marty Kranabetter is the West Coast regional soil scientist with the BC Ministry of Forests and is located in Victoria. Marty’s areas of interest are soil ecology (especially ectomycorrhizal fungi), biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and forest nutrition/productivity. Marty is a member of the provincial soil science group undertaking North American-wide studies on compaction and site organic matter removal (the Long-term Soil Productivity Study).  Most recently he has also been examining nitrogen and phosphorus deficiencies inherent to coastal forests and their interactions on conifer nutrition and forest productivity.