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Ok, so I've noticed a ton of ID requests, and a number of helpful tips, and a handful of comprehensive guides, but speaking as a new mushroom hunter in the PDX area I have a ton of questions I haven't been able to find the answers to, so any help would be appreciated greatly! Clearly the answer to these questions varies greatly by species but hopefully some general truisms exist.
Do all active mushrooms blue, or is it only the high potency ones? Do the mushrooms that blue all blue when you damage the stem or do some of them require you to damage the cap?
Do most mushrooms prefer as much shade as they can get? I.E. they're more likely to grow on the North slope of a hill to the south, under a leaning log rather than next to it, etc.?
Do mushrooms fruit during the rain, or after it? Is the fruiting more likely after several days of solid rain or is one day enough?
How sandy should the soil be for P. Azurescens? Sandy to the point where only dune grass can grip (I.E. the dunes right before the beach), further back at the 1st treeline, or up to hundreds of yards away, as long as there are areas with dune grass?
Why do Gym's have to look so damn much like Cyan's? Why must they taunt me so?
Is it always better to look near streams and ponds? Is there ever a too-near (the stream bank versus 10 feet up the side)?
Is state forest actually a decent place to look or are actives more likely to be in woodchips and cow pastures?
Anyway, I hope the answers to some of these will help me and the other new enthusiasts out there figure some of this stuff out - I hate to think I'm picking innocent mushies and walking right past decent places to look.
if the mushrooms are drying a bit it can be re-moistened, and sometimes will become seperable again, but usually not as readily as when fresh. if re-moistened, the flesh will become pliant/rubbery again, and the pellicle will be viscid again.
state parks are often good places to find woodloving psilocybes, but landscaped areas are great aswell. it is mostly the maintained and landscaped areas of state parks where i have seen finds.
cyans and gyms are not very similar at all, so you will have to be more observant.
dune azures and cyans seem, in my limited experience of that habitat mostly to prefer the inland portion of the dunes, around the border, but can certainly extend out into the duneland a ways as long as there is cover and substrate [dune grass, shrubs].
mushrooms take from one to several days after a rain to begin fruiting, but will aslo be growing duing the rain, if their fruiting was triggered by a previous rain.
some mushrooms grow better well out of direct sun or in cover, but this due to higher humidity, better moisture retention and lesser solar drying.
not all active mushrooms bruise blue, or do so reliably. in general, the more potent species show the most, or the most reliable blueing, but there are other variables at work, such as moisture level of the mushroom tissue. the bluing is usually most visible in the stipes of Psilocybes, because they mostly have lighter stipes than caps while fresh. often blueing is noticable well in the thinner portions of flesh aswell, such as in the gills and around the cap's margin. it also becomes more visible in the caps, when present, as they dry, because Psilocybes are hygrophanous; their caps become both more opaque and lighter in color as they dry.
Attn PWN hunters: If you should come across a bluing Psilocybe matching P. pellicolusa please smell it.
If you detect a scent reminiscent of Anethole (anise) please preserve a specimen or two for study and please PM me.