BC Museum travelling exhibit on mushrooms

The Royal BC Museum has a new travelling exhibit on BC mushrooms. Museum travelling exhibits are leased out to museums, libraries, and exhibition halls throughout BC, usually for two to three months at a time.

The exhibit is now at the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary. Come by the administation building any time it is open (Mon-Fri, 9-3) and see the exhibit. 

The exhibit consists of 16 large panels and 3 exhibit boxes. Two of the boxes contain life-size models of BC’s best edible mushrooms. The artists at the museum did an outstanding job of reproducing the look of the actual mushrooms.

Pictures of the exhibit and further information about it can be viewed here.

Presentation / Meeting with Scott Redhead

For the SVIMS meeting on Thursday November 4, Scott Redhead from Ottawa will be presenting “Magic Mushrooms (psilocybin) therapy and the history of their rediscovery.” This will again be a Zoom meeting. David Walde will send a link to the event by e-mail a couple of days beforehand. It will not be live streamed to Facebook or recorded, so get your week organized. Don’t miss it.

SVIMS 2021 Cowichan foray results

The 2021 SVIMS Cowichan foray gathers in the rain before the first forays. Photo by Steve Strybosch. (click to enlarge)

SVIMS held its annual Cowichan Foray last weekend at the Cowichan Lake Education Centre.  About 60 people—counting both the full-foray attendees and the Saturday day trippers—had fun seeking out the fall mushrooms.  Even the steady rain couldn’t dampen their spirits. 

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. Melanie Hess and Steve Strybosch have generously provided a large number of candid shots and specimen photos from the weekend, for those who would like to view them.

2021 was a good year for mushrooms around Cowichan Lake.  We found the usual suspects, of course, but we also had some surprises.  In all, we tallied about 115 different species of mushrooms.

We experimented with a novel way of recording our 2021 finds. In other years, we used a simple list format, which preserved no images of our finds and did not allow those who weren’t present at the foray to see and comment. This year we photographed our collections and made about 124 iNaturalist observations out of them. You can view and comment on them here.

The pictures we used in the iNaturalist observations are snaps of the table specimens. If attendees submit their field pictures of these collected specimens (please!), we will add them to the observation records.

Vouchering is always important part of recording. In previous years we have depended on the deep expertise Oluna and Adolf Ceska to know what should be preserved and to make the vouchers. In their absence, we did what we could, judging 10 specimens to be voucher-worthy. The vouchered specimens can be viewed here.

The vouchers will eventually be submitted to the Beaty Museum.

Some interesting finds:

(1) A team looking along the road by the lake came across curious white-spored caps with long rooting bases:

We initially put it in the Hymenopillis / Oudemansiella genus, a rooting shank group that has very few exemplars from western North America.

A better guess, and one that is consistent with the microscopy of the specimen, is that this is just a Mycena galericulata with an uncommonly long rooting shank. No one, however, has ever reported a 10 cm rooting base for M. galericulata.

(2) David Walde and his crew found an unusual polypore/crust, Postia ptychogaster

David had just seen one of these at the Whistler Fungus Among Us festival and was able to recognize it in the woods around the camp. 

This is not a common find. Adolf and Oluna Ceska, however, found this species in 2019 in the nearby Marble Bay Park.


(3) One of the crew made a nice collection of Inosperma calamistratum, the green-foot fibrehead. The green bases were somewhat obscured by mud, but the green colour still poked through.

The strange geranium-like smell suggests, however, that this is actual Inosperma mucidiolens, a species that was once a variety of I. calamistratum that has since been raised to species status.

The iNaturalist software does not have I. mucidiolens in its database yet–we have contacted iNaturalist curators.

(4) As in other years, we found many exemplars of the unusual Tricholoma transmutans, which looks a lot like the red-brown trich, Tricholoma pessendatum group (which we also found). 

The species concept around these red-brown tricholomas with yellowish gills is a bit of mess. The species could also end up with the name Tricholoma nictitans or Tricholoma fulvum.

A big, big thanks to Kurt and all of the team that worked so hard to make this event happen in pandemic times!

Cowichan Lake Foray 2021

Register for this great event.

The Cowichan Foray for 2021 is now fully booked. Thank you for registering. It will be a great weekend.

Lake Cowichan Foray – Weekend of October 22 – 24, 2021

The Lake Cowichan Foray weekend is a go and members are submitting their registration form for this great annual event. The location, Lake Cowichan Conference and Education Centre is on a 44 acre forested site.  This site and others in the Cowichan Valley area will be used to forage for fungi, led by mushroom experts. This will help participants identify terrain and discuss the variety of mushrooms and species we have in British Columbia.

More information and registration form can be found at this link: https://svims.club/docs. Don’t miss out on this event.

Covid protocols applicable at the time of this event will be followed.  

If you have additional questions, please contact Kurt Raeder at svims.treasurer@gmail.com .  Please use “Attendance” as subject title.

This is a member’s only event, so if you have not renewed or want to be a new member please do so. 

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Amanita muscaria, from the grounds of the Lake Cowichan Conference and Education Centre. By Kem Luther