SVIMS Lichen Foray Devonian May 2023

Juliet Pendray took SVIMS members on a second lichen learning walk at Devonian Park on May 6, 2023. The following Tuesday she delivered an informative presentation on lichens at the SVIMS month meeting. 

On the walk, SVIMS members had the opportunity to check out lichens in a rare and endangered Garry oak ecosystem. Volunteers, organized by the late Moralea Milne, have been keeping the Devonian Park ecosystems pristine by removing invasives.

Juliet talked during the walk about lichen characteristics and habitat. Participants were inspired by Juliet’s obvious  enthusiasm. 

Fishnet lichen (Ramalina menziesii)
Beaultiful Devonian Park
The crew
We're gonna try to get to here...
Steven 1, Steven,2 and Juliet heading out.
Juliet talks to the lichen.
Lichens are everywhere!
The group found lichens of many types and species. Among them were questionable rockfrog (Xanthoparmelia cumberlandii), many pixie lichens (Cladonia spp), conifer saucer lichen (Ochrolechia cf. oregonensis).
Frog pelt lichen (Peltigera)
Conifer saucer lichen (Ochrolechia cf. oregonensis).
Absolutely covered in pixie lichens (Cladonia spp.)

SVIMS helps with Salt Spring foray 2023

On Saturday, May 6, a group of mushroom enthusiasts from Salt Spring (their Facebook page) held a foray and invited several SVIMS people to join them. 

A group of seven SVIMS people tried to board the morning Schwatz Bay ferry to Salt Spring–only to find out that the morning ferries had been cancelled. However, they heard that the ferries were running a free pilot boat service to Salt Spring from the neighbouring Government Wharf. Making their way to the small dock, the small group were all able to fit into the 9:00 am run of the pilot boat and arrive in time for the foray.

Top photo by Mel Hesz, bottom photo by David Walde.

Prez Hesz examines one of the finds. Photo by Jan McIntyre
The SVIMS group and others on site. Photo by Vail Paterson

The group of SVIMS people and Salt Springers surveyed a second-growth forest on Cranberry Road. Thanks in part to the recent rains, there were lots of mushrooms to see. About 40 species were logged on iNaturalist. Some of the more interesting finds are described below. (Click on the pictures to see the iNaturalist entries.)

Mycena aciculata, the orange bonnet. Thanks to Ian Gibson for cueing us into this one. Looks like an Atheniella, but it’s not. It’s still listed as Mycena, but DNA studies suggest that it doesn’t belong in the Mycena genus either.

Lachnum virgineum, the hairy fairy cup. Thanks to Ian Gibson for this great stacked closeup photo.

Presumably the mushroom is called “virgineum,” virgin, because it is white, and virgins wore white at weddings. Except the theory doesn’t hold water. The mushroom was first named “virgeneum” in the late 1700s, and brides didn’t start wearing white until Queen Victoria popularized the tradition in the 1830s.

Trametes gibbosa. As common as fleas on the mainland, but we don’t often see this large, lumpy, white polypore on the islands.

Bertia moriformis. This unusual and not often documented asco is known as “wood mulberry.” Tyson Ehlers helped us ID this one.

Pseudoplectania nigrella. Round spores (see spore pic on the iNaturalist observation) make this one an easy ID. Without microscopy, though, there would other alternatives to consider.

Cudonia circinans has the funny common name “redleg jellybelly.” Reviewing their records, SVIMS members established in 2022 that this was a spring as well as a fall mushroom. It’s truly a club–nothing under the head but bald tissue. This asco club, by the way, has crazy-long ascospores. See the Kuo writeup on this species for a picture of the ascospores.

Government House Spring Foray 2023

SVIMS members spent the morning of April 29, 2023, at 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. 

Forayers were mostly on the lookout for fungi, but it was also the week of the iNaturalist 2023 City Nature Challenge Canada, so foray participants were snapping pictures of lots of other groups of organisms. To see the range of species groups, have a look at SVIMS member Elora Adamson’s iNaturalist observations for the morning.

The foray group was composed of both Government House personnel/volunteers and SVIMS members. SVIMS offers a big THANK YOU to Susan, Janet, Elsbeth, Valerie, Dave, Bryce, Rosemary and all the others who made the event possible. At the end of the foray participants were welcomed at the Government House cottage for refreshments and sharing of finds.

The fungal species for the day can be viewed on iNaturalist. In all, forayers found about 15 different species of fungi (as always, the iNaturalist count may change as other people weigh in on the observations). Not too many large mushrooms were identified–several days of sun had dried out what little had managed to come up.  Still, one group managed to find the beautiful Bolbitus titubans (Sunny Side Up). One log on the property contained abundant corpses of last year’s Laetiporus gilbertsonii, the Hardwood Chicken of the Woods. (Several members made note of the place–perhaps planning to come back in August to see what the 2023 season might produce?) One dry morel turned up in the collection. Foray leaders identified some rusts often overlooked at other SVIMS events.

Photos courtesy of Steven Strybosch. Richard Winder also has some great photos on Facebook.

David Walde and Kem Luther look up references, Ann McCall looks on.
The specimens were laid out on a table at the end of the foray. Andy and Denise help to ID them.
What's a foray without a Ceska! Adolf lends his extensive expertise to the day.
Bob Bromley searches the Garry Oak meadows of Government House for elusive fungi.
At the end of the day, Alan Szafer, Richard Winder, Kevin Trim, and Ken Wong swap stories. Some of them may actually have been true.
Allen finds a good use for old egg cartons.

SVIMS spring foray at Royal Roads 2023

The group gathers at the start of the foray.

About 25 SVIMS members gathered at the back entrance to Royal Roads on Sunday, April 2, 2023, to see what mushrooms the spring weather had brought.

Club members found about 23 species. The list, with pictures, can be found on iNaturalist. (Usual warning–the names on the list may change as experts from around the world add their opinions).

Of special interest were two mycorrhizal mushrooms–an Inocybe and a Cortinarius. A Melanoleuca was vouchered for further study.

Thanks to Elora Adamson for helping with the recording. And Steven Strybosch for the group pictures on this page.

Half-way through, a pause to look at some mushroom finds
Andy talks about trees and mushrooms
From young to old
Andy and Adolf scan for small mushrooms

SVIMS Metchosin Wilderness Park Foray March 2023

Wrapping up at the end of the walk.

Pictures in this post courtesy of Steve Strybosch.

The SVIMS foray for March took the club back to Metchosin Wilderness Park, which we last visited in (a much sunnier) April of 2022.

Even though the visit to the park was earlier and colder this year, SVIMSers found about as many mushroom species as last year. At the time of writing, we have 27 species for the day. (This may change, of course, as iNaturalist identifiers chime in on the IDs.) You can view the day’s discoveries on iNaturalist.

Special finds include a fragrant collybia, Rhodocollybia oregonensis, with its wonderful almond smell and long rooting base, coral  spot, Nectria cinnabarina, looking like small red mulberries on the bark of a dead limb, jelly leaf, Phaeotremella, and bear lentinus, Lentinellus ursinus, hiding in the woodpecker holes of a large snag.

Two club members admire the persistence of an overwinted Dyer's Conk
Looking for mushrooms at the base of an old but productive snag.

SVIMS Royal Roads Foray 2023

On February 15, 2023, SVIMS members had their annual spring foray at Royal Roads. Paul Kroeger, the speaker from the evening before, was the guest leader.

Results from the foray were recorded in iNaturalist. You can see the observations here.

About 30 species were identified at the foray. Lots of Nolanea, Galerina, Mycena, and Stereum, and conks.

Some fun finds: Hairy Pea Truffle (Endogone pisiformis — see microscope picture of the huge zygospores), Stereum ochraceoflavum and S. sanguinolentum, oodles of the beautiful Map Fungus, Coccomyces dentatus, on Oregon Grape leaves, and the Orange Disco, Aleurodiscus amorphus. We also found a beautiful slime mould, which Tyson Ehlers (our next SVIMS speaker) has identified as Insect-egg Slime, Leocarpus fragilis.

Photos courtesy of Steven Strybosch.

Foray participants make their way slooowwwwllly through the Royal Roads forest.

SVIMS 2022 Cowichan foray results

SVIMS held its 2022 Cowichan Foray last weekend at the Cowichan Lake Education Centre.  During the outing, about 60 people—counting both the full-foray attendees and the Saturday daytrippers—sought out fall mushrooms. Teams were sent to Gordon Bay Campground, the Forestry Centre old growth, and the grounds around the Cowichan Lake Education Centre. The dry year made the usually-plentiful mushrooms hard to find. 

The weekend–ably organized by Kurt, Mel, Steve, Gillian, David, and others–began with a supper at the Cow Restaurant in Lake Cowichan

Besides enjoying the evening entertainment sessions and chowing down on the great food at the Centre, foray participant took several guided walks to view and collect samples of the area mushrooms. 

Shannon Berch and the students from her training course did a great job of tabling and labeling the mushrooms brought in from the forays and identifying them. Mitch Milgram of Salmon Arm, who teaches mycology at Okanagan College, and Martin Osis, a member of the Alberta Mycological Society, joined SVIMS experts to help with further identification. 

The results of the collecting have been posted on iNaturalist. In all, SVIMS members tallied almost 100 different species of mushrooms. This was only about 15 fewer species than the club found last year, which was surprising. Mushrooms this year may have lacked quantity, but they retained some of their variety. Leaders judged five specimens to be voucher-worthy (The vouchered specimens can be viewed here.) 

Some fun finds below. But first, some pictures from the events.

SVIMS members crank up the music at the entertainment evenings.

Some candid photos from Thor Henrich and Denise Furst and Kurt Raeder and Steve Strybosch

Participants found several good stands of Phlebia tremellosa. (view one of the several iNaturalist observation here). This fungus pushes out pink/white shelves at the top edge of the vertically-oriented crusts.

A few of the participants travelled to Cowichan Lake by way of Port Renfrew. Just outside of Port Renfrew they found an area that was not as dry as most other areas of Southern Vancouver Island. They collected mushrooms there and brought them to the Cowichan foray. Among their finds were some stately boletes–Smith’s Boletes (Boletus smithii), which have stems with a red colouration on the top.

Because of the dry season, decomposers were much more abundant than mycorrhizal mushrooms. One of the groups surveying the lake shore near the Cowichan Lake Education Centre turned up an impressive array of Pholiota squarrosoides caps.

The Port Renfrew crew also found an unusual “truffle.” Several groups of gilled and pored mushrooms include gastroid species with gills that do not open up. Sometimes these gastroid caps remain in the ground or just on the surface of the ground. The group found a Gastroboletus turbinatus cap.


The team that visited Gordon Bay campground found the eminently edible Cauliflower Mushroom, Sparassis radicata. One lucky SVIMS member also chanced on a perfect Lion’s Mane, Hericium erinaceus, which somehow (!) didn’t make it to the display table.