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Documenting my time at the 2022 Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club Fungus Fest

Mushroom Monday - 2022 Michigan Mushroom Hunters Fungus Fest

By tych0_21 | MyMycoBlog | 4 Oct 2022


Happy Mushroom Monday! Today, I'd like to share a few images from two weekends ago when I joined the Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club for their annual fungus fest. The Fungus Fest is an event held once a year for fungi enthusiasts of all experience levels across the state of Michigan to come together to hunt for, cook, and discuss mushrooms. This was my first time attending the 3 day event, and I am very happy that I was able to! It was a joy to spend time with so many like-minded individuals and get to talk about fungi for hours on end without feeling like I was boring my companions with such a niche topic in the process.

There were a wide variety of participants in attendance, ranging from the complete neophytes who decided to pop by for the day after recently watching "Fantastic Fungi" on Netflix, to seasoned mushroom hunting veterans who have been hunting across Michigan for decades. Everyone was incredibly open and helpful when offering suggestions for field guides, cook books, recipes, and hunting spots.

Throughout the weekend, specific times were set aside for participants to head out from the main conference area to hunt in the surrounding woods for mushrooms. Despite there being relatively little rain leading up to the event, and a subsequent lack of mushrooms, we were still able to collect several dozen different species across the entire group. Upon returning from our hunts, each participant placed their collected mushrooms on individual plates to be identified by two of the clubs most senior identification experts. Once the samples were positively identified, they were placed out across several folding tables, grouped by mushroom type (jelly fungi, polypores, ascomyctes, etc.). Then, our local mushroom expert, Alden Dirks (PhD candidate in Mycology from the University of Michigan) was able to talk us through each of the species types that we were able to find, including more specific details about particular species.

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In addition to the mushroom hunts and identification session, the fest also featured a few presentations on fungi. One presentation was given by Alden on the presence of the toxin Gyromitrin in North American false morel (lorchel) species, and the other was from one of the region's premier mycological experts, Phil Tedeschi, on Psychedelic Mushrooms - both very interesting and informative presentations from well-respected and knowledgeable mycologists.

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On Saturday evening, we also came together to share in one of the main reasons that most become interested in fungi, eating them! On Saturday, members came together to enjoy a potluck dinner cobbled together with a variety of dishes, each featuring edible mushrooms in their own way. There were chicken of woods tamales, chanterelle and beef stews, and black trumpet and walnut brownies that may have been the best brownies I have ever eaten. The meal was a resounding success all around.

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Despite the disappointment that came with there being relatively little to find on our hunts, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the 2022 Fungus Fest, and look forward to fostering the connections I made with other local fungi lovers that I made along the way. Hopefully next year we are able to get some more rain!

Below are the species that I was able to find during the Fungus Fest. Happy Mushroom Monday!

Coral-pink Merulius (Phlebia incarnata):

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Cracked Cap Polypore (Fulvifomes robiniae):

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Northern Tooth (Climacodon septentrionalis):

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Brown-staining Cheese Polypore (Fuscopostia fragilis):

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Decorated Mop (Tricholomopsis decora):

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Tricholomopsis flammula:

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Lumpy Bracket (Trametes gibbosa):

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Violet-toothed Polypore (Trichaptum biforme):

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Common Earthball (Scleroderma citrinum):

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Ramaria botrytis:

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Dotted-stalked Suillus (Suillus granulatus):

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Trembling Crust (Merulius tremellosus):

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Luminescent Panellus (Panellus stipticus):

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Dryad's Saddle (Cerioporus squamosus):

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Velvet-footed Pax (Tapinella atrotomentosa):

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Eastern North American Destroying Angel (Amanita bisporigera):

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tych0_21
tych0_21

Amateur mycologist and botanist exploring the natural world around me


MyMycoBlog
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Mycology, Botany, and nature-appreciation

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