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.

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

Royal Roads foray with Paul Kroeger Spring 2024

Pithya vulgaris, a tiny, tiny (1 mm) cup on the decaying needle of a true cedar (Cedrus). 

Paul Kroeger returned on February 6, 2024, for his annual SVIMS presentation. (See the post about his 2023 visit). This year he spoke about urban mushrooms.

The next day, February 7, Paul (helped by Andy and Kem) led a SVIMS foray at Royal Roads. Mushrooms had become rare finds since the last freeze, but after a couple of hours, and with the help of over 20 dedicated pairs of eyes, almost as many species of mushrooms turned up as last year–about 30. The finds have been posted on iNaturalist

The photos in this post are courtesy of Steve Strybosch, foray show runner.

Paul tells about his adventures with Auriscalpium vulgare.
Brave Josh shows the risks some people will take to find mushrooms in February!
Andy "No Off Switch" MacKinnon expostulates on the day's finds..
At the end of the foray, a few SVIMS people checked out a Royal Roads wood chip pile.

SVIMS Foray with Daniel Winkler 2023

For their last foray of the year, SVIMS members met with speaker Daniel Winkler for a quick tour of the Pearson College path that runs along the inlet.

On the previous evening, December 5, Daniel presented a slide lecture on edible mushrooms in BC and the US Pacific Northwest. The talk was based on his new book, Fruits of the Forest.

About 40 different species were found and IDed on the foray. The list (and pictures) can be found on iNaturalist. The number and freshness of the fungal fructifications were amazing for the first week in December. 


Photos of people by Steve Strybosch.

Kem Luther and Andy MacKinnon review the mushrooms found during the foray with guest Daniel Winkler
The foray group listens to Daniel expostulate on puffballs.
Daniel in a discussion with Kem, Josh, and Elora
The mushrooms found on the foray
Phaeotremella foliacea, the Leafy Brain, parasitic on Stereum sanguinolentum

SVIMS Foray Government House Fall 2023

SVIMS members returned on November 8, 2023 to the grounds of Government House. The 18 hectares of the provincial property include extensive natural woodlands (mossy balds, Garry oak meadows) on the south side. 

The foray personnel were composed of both Government House volunteers and SVIMS members. At the end of the foray, participants were welcomed at the Government House cottage for refreshments and sharing of finds.

The 20 or so SVIMS people in attendance divided into four groups. Each group had one recorder (Elora Adamson, Ann McCall, Richard Winder, and Kem Luther played these roles.)

Abundant rains over the last month helped bring out a large number of mushrooms, both mycorrhizals and decomposers. The fungal species from the day can be viewed on iNaturalist. In all, forayers found about 40 different species (as always, the iNaturalist count may change as other people weigh in on the observations). 

Photos courtesy of Steven Strybosch. Click on pics to enlarge.

Bolbitus titubans, the fried egg mushroom, was found throughout the grasslands.
Sarah demonstrates the proper mushroom hunting posture. Eyes on the ground!
Ann records some tree rotting mushrooms.
The group laid out the mushrooms on a table at the cottage and debated IDs.
A jelly fungus, Naematelia aurantia, chows down on some yummy Stereum.

Svims Cowichan Foray 2023

Prez Mel welcomes the crown on Saturday morning

The weather was frosty but clear for the annual SVIMS foray to Cowichan Lake. 

About 60 people came for all or part of the weekend to collect samples of the local mushrooms and identify them.

The collections started on Saturday morning. Groups went to three different areas and brought back specimens.  These were arranged on a display table and given IDs. In the afternoon, groups went out again.

It was a good year for mushroom variety. Just over 175 species were identified–a SVIMS record. The list can be viewed here.

A big thanks to Kurt and all the rest of the time who put the foray together. Photos by Steve Strybosch.

The SVIMS home for the weekkend--the Cowichan Lake Education Centre
Andy takes a group down the Schenstrom Trail and the Pacific Forestry Centre
Because of a ground frost the night before--many of the mushrooms were frozen when collected. Calocera cornea, for example.
Bryce and Adolf work on identifying the mushrooms that were collected.
On Saturday afternoon, several SVIMS people stayed in the collection room to begin laying out and identifying mushrooms.
With the mushrooms identified, a little time for musical fun on Saturday evening.
Some folks sneaked out in the evening for a UV light visit to the mushrooms around the centre.
On Sunday moring, foray participants talked about their favourite discoveries.