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Outline of this thread: I. Mushroom Hunting & Identification Forum rules ---- a. Common courtesy ---- b. Trusted identifiers II. Accurate mushroom descriptions III. Tips for those new to mushroom hunting IV. Helpful and important links V. Credits & Thanks
I. Mushroom Hunting & Identification Forum rules
1. When asking for an id on any mushroom[s], always include the information requested in Section II of this document. Also, please DO NOT remove this information or the pictures once you've got your finds ID-ed. Your post may be useful as a reference for future users with similar finds. Your thread will drop to the bottom by itself, just leave it alone.
2. Never give an identification if you believe you might be wrong, and never suggest that anyone eat an unidentified mushroom. Mushroom Hunting can be a dangerous hobby if you're ill-advised. An inaccurate ID could be the difference between life and death. If you think what you're about to say might be wrong, very clearly disclaim it so people know you are just guessing. Do not guess that it is an active species unless you are very sure.
4. Do not ask about current finds in your area. These posts have been flooding the forum for years. If you're curious about if mushrooms are growing in your area, get out there and look! Mushrooms don't read the books. Sometimes they fruit outside of season. There is no set date for any season, only vast generalizations. Your best bet is that if it's close to the season for the mushroom you are looking for and its been raining, you just might find some.
5. Do not make threads or posts discussing or reporting the weather. This includes complaining about the weather, asking if the current weather is "good for shrooms", or how long to wait after rain fall to go hunting. As a general rule of thumb, if it has rained within the last 1-10 days, and the temperatures are correct for the type of mushroom you're looking for, and the time of year is correct then it is very likely that the mushroom you are looking for is growing.
6. No asking when or where mushrooms, or a specific mushroom species will grow. This includes, asking what habitat a mushroom[s] can be found- or their preferred fruiting conditions. This can be very simply answered by using the "search posts" feature: http://www.shroomery.org/forums/search.php
7. No requesting or revealing specific locations. Locations NOT allowed: Business names, government buildings, shopping centers, pasturelands, when specific directions are given to a location, or any place with an address. Use common sense about what might be considered a specific location. When in doubt, do the moderators a favor and just don't say it.
8. No asking for hunting partners. The Hunting Forum is for learning, sharing, teaching and identification purposes. If you would like to request a hunting buddy, make a topic about it in the Gathering Forum. You will gain access to the Gathering Forum after being a member for more than 60 days and when you have reached more than 100 posts. Posts announcing mushroom events and official group forays are permitted; please don't take groups of people picking psilocybin mushrooms.
9. You must follow rules that apply to all forums. Please refer to this document.
10. Start official threads with a picture. Anyone can start "official" season threads, but they need to be started with good pictures from the current year. Otherwise these threads fill up with lots of posts before the season even starts. Please include the year in the subject line.
11. No chatter about how you haven't found any shrooms yet...
12. No flaming
a. Common courtesy If you see someone violating a rule outlined in the thread (like asking for an ID without providing enough information), click the Notify Moderator button or refer them to this FAQ and do NOT flame them or even argue. It is the job of the moderators and administrators to contend with anyone who is not following the rules.
Please read about and learn how to use the Reply-to feature. It is very important to set it so people know who you are talking to.
b. Trusted identifiers You'll notice that a few members have the new Trusted Identifier tag below their avatar and post count. In our constant efforts to improve the site and the dependability of mushroom identification information for our new members, we've decided to implement this tag to identify members who have proven by their identifications to be knowledgeable and experienced identifiers, as well as teachers.
None of these members have asked to have this tag, and in fact the first they'll know of it is when they log in next time and see it. Our membership here is fluid, so many skilled but former users don't have the tag.
It doesn't mean that those without the tag are not to be listened to or respected for their advice and opinions, but rather that those with the tag have repeatedly proved to the staff here that they're competent to answer questions and give advice.
The decision on who gets these tags is up to the moderators of the mushroom hunting forum. Please don't ask for the tag for yourself or nominate others. These tags, while an honor, are not intended to be an ego trip, but simply a help to our new members who often have to wade through conflicting advice on a new hobby that that can seem overwhelming at first. If you're presented with two different identifications, and one of the members has a trusted identifier tag, his or her advice would be your preferred answer.
The moderators are in regular contact behind the scenes, and we'll be the ones to give the tags, and to take them away for cause when necessary. I'm sure we've missed a few members who should have the tags, so as time goes on, we'll be adding more to the list. We really hope this helps.
Experienced people who can be trusted with mushroom identification are (this list will grow over time):
It is critical that you describe mushrooms fully and accurately in order to get a proper identification.
A good picture of the mushrooms is invaluable, but not required. Along with the pictures YOU ARE REQUIRED to provide the following data:
* Habitat (where [woods, pasture, state, province, country, altitude] and what [soil, dung, wood (dead, living, what kind of wood?)] does it grow on) * Characteristics of the gills (color, attached/not, gills/pores, etc) * Characteristics of the stem (length, diameter, color, texture, hollow/solid, thin/thick, etc) * Characteristics of the cap (diameter,color, texture, conical/spherical, convex/concave, etc) * Spore print color (very important!) * Color that the mushroom bruises * Scent of the mushroom * Anything else you might find important
For more detailed guidelines for describing your finds, please view this document.
For an explanation of mycological terms please refer to this document .
III. Tips for those new to mushroom hunting
There are plenty of things that someone new to the hobby needs to know before even *considering* eating a mushroom. Here are some important tips for those new to the hobby:
- Do not eat any mushroom without identifying it first! You could die of mushroom poisoning or become so sick that you'd wish you were dead.
- Make a spore print by cutting the cap from the stem and placing a cap on a sheet of aluminum foil. A light dusting of spores should drop in an hour or two. It is preferable to let the mushroom sit and release spores for up to 24 hours in order to leave a good thick print. The color of the spores is a great help in identifying any mushroom. More information on making spore prints is here.
- When you are making a spore print it is often helpful to put a drop of water on the cap of each mushroom and place a bowl over them so the spores don't blow away.
- If for some (stupid) reason you decide to eat an unidentified mushroom, be sure to save one of them so you can show the people at the emergency room what you ate in the event that you are poisoned. This way they will know which mushroom toxin to treat you for. For a introductory lesson that delves into the reality of mushroom poisoning[s] see this link.
- When collecting mushrooms be sure to separate different species. There is no way we can identify a mixed pile of mushrooms.
- Providing a description based on the outline from Section II in this thread is 100% necessary for identification purposes.
- If a mushroom has white, green or orange gills (the underside of the mushroom), BEWARE! If the gills are white or orange it may often be deadly to consume, and if the gills are green they will make you very ill!
- Not all mushrooms that stain/bruise the color blue are hallucinogenic. There are quite a few poisonous mushrooms that do bruise blue. Never use this feature solely to identify a mushroom.
- Please save the slang (shroomz, boomers, shroomies, mushies, etc.) for AOL. They're called mushrooms and fungi.
- Keep in mind that if you eat the wrong mushroom it is possible that you will die. Also be reminded that some individuals have allergic reactions to otherwise safe edible mushrooms. So when consuming a edible species for the first time it is advised to eat only a small sample (of the cooked material) at first, to be on the safe side.
- If the mushroom is on or under a tree, what kind of tree - not the exact kind, but knowing it's an oak or a maple or a pine or a spruce is useful.
- When collecting, try to get both young and mature specimens, if possible for your photos.
- Areas near highways, landfills, urban areas and mining areas are often contaminated with heavy metals or other toxins (including air and water pollution). Mushrooms sometimes concentrate these toxins in high enough levels that you can receive doses of lead or other unpleasant things which you do not want in your body. In other words, the environment in which a mushroom grows reflects upon the quality of the fungus.
MushroomExpert.com If you're not just here for the actives, this site is invaluable to you. It has TONS of information on all kinds of mushrooms. Very nice resource for those who are also looking for edibles.
Mykoweb A site with information on mushrooms found in California. This is useful for all people really (not just those in CA).
Rogers Mushrooms Great site for identifying American and European mushrooms. One of the most extensive and descriptive species catalogs on the internet, includes keys.
Tom Volk's Fungi Be sure to check out his section on Fungus of the Month- he has some great species info, and even has sound clips on the Latin pronunciation!
High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to This work in progress (still needs some pictures) tells you how to improve your mushroom photography skills. Once this is done we'll give it a more "professional" look.