Friday, June 13, 2008

Oyster Mushroom Gardening and Walk with the Rochester Area Mycological Association

On Saturday, June 7th the Rochester Area Mycological Association came to the nature center to teach an "Oyster Mushroom Gardening" class and also to do a mushroom identification walk. You may be asking yourself, "what is mycology?"

Mycology is the study of fungi. More closely related to animals than plants, fungi are found in every environment on earth from deserts to underwater habitats. There are over 70,000 species known so far, but the actual number of species may be much greater. Fungi are major decomposers and play a huge role in ecosystems.

Some of the species that were found on the walk were:
False Turkey tail
Violet Toothed Polypore
Japanese Umbrella Inky
Jelly Crep
Autumn Skullcap
Fawn Mushroom
Gem-studded Puffball

The Autumn Skullcap mushroom found on the walk is deadly poisonous

While many species of fungi are harmless, some can be deadly and should not be handled. As a reminder, Tinker Nature Park does not allow collecting, so all fungi and other organisms found inside it are not allowed to be picked or taken.

Thank you to the Rochester Area Mycological Association for hosting their event at the Tinker Nature Park. If you are interested in Mushrooms and Fungi, come out to the park on October 4th for the Natural Dyeing with Mushrooms class, and Mushroom identification walk.

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