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Offlineledfethered
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Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.)
    #913179 - 09/27/02 09:06 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

I thought ?Honey Mushroom? when I first saw these.

They are living at the base of a standing dead tree, possibly a maple, not sure. But it?s under a forest canopy and we?ve just had some rain here in Virginia (Thankfully). I almost missed these walking our path and then all of the sudden I was blown away by this huge cluster of mushrooms. Even if they are not good for you, they sure are pretty aren?t they?

Are these edible or toxic?

They stand up to 8? tall.

The young ones are tan to brownish (maybe sienna?) fading to almost a yellowish, and the oldest caps have a dark brown spot in the center fading to nearly cr?me.

Caps are from about 1? to 4? dia., they are sticky and very fleshy. Stems are semi thick from ?? to about 5/8? and are not hollow but softer and more porous in the center.

They smell like a mushroom, even a little sweet right off the wet forest floor.

No immediate or semi-immediate bruising as of yet but the cap flesh does get a little translucent when disturbed with a razor blade. Spore print is either non-existent or very light and white. I really can?t determine a deposit after about 2 hours.

As you can see, they seem quite fleshy.

I?m up for a little education!














I have a picture of a specimen split in half, but I hit my upload limit even though all my file sizes were under 100kb. Oh well, there?s always tomorrow.

Any feedback is appreciated!


Peace


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OfflineGumbyM
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #913371 - 09/27/02 10:30 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

I'm not sure but I think they could be Sulfur tufts, poisonous. Do not eat.


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Offlineledfethered
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: Gumby]
    #913472 - 09/27/02 11:09 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

I can't find much on Sulfur tufts. Any help out there?


Peace


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #913560 - 09/27/02 11:45 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

Spore print is going to be very important in identifying these. Looking at the photos, I see that one of the clusters consisted of older fully expanded mushrooms - often you can see spore prints on mushrooms which are lower down underneath in clusters like that.

I can't tell from the photos - is there a ring on the stem? The last photo looks like it, but I'm not certain. If there is, is it cottony, or like a membrane, or slime, or what?

Sulfur Tuft is a common name for Nematoloma fasiculare which is a very poisonous mushroom. They are bright yellow, bruise brown, taste intensely bitter, a zone of fibers on the stem instead of a ring, and a purple brown spore print. Since I think I see a ring in the last photo I don't think that's what they are.

Honey Mushrooms are members of the genus Armillaria, and you will find references under the name Armillaria mellea in most books. If that's what they are then near the center of each cap there should be some dark "hairs" standing up. On young specimens the gills should have been completely enclosed by a white cottony membrane which leaves a persistent ring on the stalk. They have a white spore print. Honey Mushrooms are mostly edible (I like them), but some people get upset stomachs eating them. If that's what they are you need to eat a very small amount to make sure they're OK for you the first time.

Similar looking mushrooms with brown spore prints will probably be Pholiota. Orangish spore prints will be Gymnopilus. Purple brown will be Nematoloma. Jack O'Lanterns have white to cream colored spore prints, no ring, no hairs on the cap, are bright pumpkin orange all over, and are very poisonous.

I guess I'm saying we *really* need to know the spore print color on these.


Nice find. It's always great to come across one of these stumps full of mushrooms like that.


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Invisibleangryshroom
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #913598 - 09/27/02 11:58 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

Really nice pics you have there, Im very impressed with the quality! I Love those outdoor shots as well :smile:


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OfflineMitchnast
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: angryshroom]
    #913849 - 09/28/02 01:32 AM (15 years, 2 days ago)

i guarentee those are none of the mushrooms mentioned, they smell and taste of soapiest flavour you can immagine.
they are inedible and have a white sporeprint.
dispite this however they are not honey mushrooms which have a scaly apearance, thinner stipes and less obvious veils,
i used to have some pics of these and i never found out what they are.
i had mis-identifiesd them as big laughing gym once, they are really nothing like this tho


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Offlinecanid
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #914094 - 09/28/02 03:31 AM (15 years, 2 days ago)

give the print 12 hours and do one on white and one on black paper.
they are not sulphers but they do have a distinct Naematoloma look. in fact, if it wheren't for the veil i'd have dismissed them immediately. sulphers do have rings but the are evanescent and not nearly that prominent.
they also look similar to G. spectabilis but i've never seen them with that kind of distinction between cap and stipe color or with stipes that became whitish towards the cap. thwe gill structure seems right though exept that i don't see a trace of spore deposit on the gills in your last pic.
i know i didn't realy say anything new or helpful but oh well. the picks are beautiful. i'd still consider it a great find.


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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.


Edited by concretefeet (09/28/02 03:35 AM)


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OfflineHamurabi
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: canid]
    #914240 - 09/28/02 05:30 AM (15 years, 2 days ago)

i have seenb thsi shrooms too and i really liked them!
excellent photoz dude

peace


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Offlineledfethered
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ToxicMan]
    #914481 - 09/28/02 10:59 AM (15 years, 2 days ago)

Here is a pic of the split specimen that I couldn?t get uploaded last night.




Thanks for all the great info!

Michnast mentioned that he thought that these were none of the above and mentioned that some mushroom similar to this smelled and tasted soapy. I have yet to taste one, but these do not have an offensive smell. As I mentioned earlier they just smell like any other mushroom from the store. Also he mentioned that Honey mushrooms were scaly in appearance. I have found both types of pictures, many of the ones on the Internet do look scaly but the one in my little Audubon field guide looks almost identical to these here, and the description is very close. Hmmmmm.

Toxicman, as always your help is very comprehensive.

The spore print showed overnight and it is off white/cr?me or even a tinge yellowish. Since I use bright white inkjet paper for spore prints, I can tell these subtle
near-white colors.

There is a ring or remnant of the white cottony membrane you mention. It was very squishy and soft upon picking and has dried to an almost cotton texture. Kind of like cocoon web matter. It is fixed in place/doesn?t move up and down the stem.
There still is no bruising effect.

The mature caps are sticky except for the center, which is a little ?hairy?, but there are no ?long hairs? obvious standing up. It?s more like a fuzzy spiders ass! The young are completely enclosed in the white membrane you mention. That membrane as I mentioned above is persistent on the stipe.

So far, with the exception of whether or not the fuzz I see in the center are the hairs I am supposed to be seeing, it looks like I may have a winner here. With the pore print being white/cr?me, no bruising evident, it seems to rule out most of the bad seeds you mentioned. With the color not being bright orange but being consistent with the honey mushroom color variables, and the fact that there are some form of hairs or fuzz present as well as ring on the stem; it seems to rule out the Jack-O-Lanterns. From what I have found about the Omphalotus olearius, I can see why it?s a candidate for confusion here. The cluster growth at the base of wood is just as the honey mushroom and the spore print is white, but the color seems more bright orange and more consistent across the cap whereas these ones I have grow to a distinct brown in the center, fading to tan and cr?me at the edges.

Do I have a winner here?

I have read that the young un-opened ones are the best to eat, but the flesh on the mature caps looks better than the lapoitas. When trying these for physical effect, should I do the typical teaspoon size of a mature cap, or should I eat a small young cap? I have also read that the stem is fibrous but if you cut away the outside of the stem, the center is considered better than the cap.

What is the best way to preserve mushrooms so you can pick them, taste a sample and then still have the rest in good shape a day or three later for cooking?

Thanks again to all who responded!


Peace


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Only man's arrogance could deem a mushroom illegal.


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Offlineledfethered
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #914552 - 09/28/02 11:53 AM (15 years, 2 days ago)

Well, I lost my shot at the unopened younglings. They have since opened up over the last 12-18 hours.

See how they are continuing to change to a lighter color especially near the edges. The older ones are turning very light colored. Little flying insects are just loving these things.


The pinkish color on the second pic is due to the angle I?m shooting and sunlight. They do not appear pinkish at all.


Now I see what seems to be possibly the same thing coming up in my lawn too. Look at this little cluster typical of what I am seeing in the lawn today.



On the left is one of the young ones from the tree stump in the woods leaning against a group of three mushrooms growing off of my back deck. I thought they looked similar and now I know. They are almost identical, down to the bright yellow tinge on the ring. The only differences I see, is the cap seems to turn down more on the edges on the lawn version, and of course they are in the lawn, not the forest!




Peace


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #914595 - 09/28/02 12:13 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

It sounds like you have Honey Mushrooms.

The spore print is listed everywhere as white, but David Arora mentions in the comments that it is sometimes slightly yellowish.

The hairs on the cap are typically very short. Here's some links to photos:
http://www.grzyby.pl/gatunki/Armillaria_mellea.htm
http://www.cx.sakura.ne.jp/~kinoko/01eng/armillaria_mellea2.htm
http://www.geocities.com/VoyagerServiceSoftware/artemiev/mushroom/Armillaria_mellea.htm

The first photo shows the hairs best. (That grzyby.pl site has great photos!)

The stems should also be tough and fibrous.

David Arora say that they are bitter tasting raw (spit it out if you try), but that not everybody can taste it. I never bothered trying.


Honey Mushrooms are edible, but there are some caveats you should be aware of. They cause more poisonings than any other edible mushrooms. We know they must be thoroughly cooked or you are likely to have problems, and we know that some of the poisonings are due to undercooked mushrooms. There is also some suspicion that it may be related to the type of wood they are growing on, but that is still only suspicion. There is also some suspicion that it may have to do with which exact species. I'm afraid I don't have a reference on how to separate the various Armillaria species (I have only found Armillaria ostoyae here). And, of course, there is always individual sensitivity - every mushroom has that to some degree.

All of that means that you should proceed with extra caution when trying these for the first time. Eat a *very small* amount and wait overnight to see if you'll get sick, to minimize any problems. All of this is a bit overcautious, but it is warranted. I know too many people who have gotten sick from mushrooms to want to see anyone else like that. On the positive side, I don't know anybody who's gotten sick from Honey Mushrooms, and I do know someone who gets sick from Boletus edulis.

I hadn't heard the bit about the stems. Try it and let us know. Usually I just throw out the stems. If they're actually good it would be nice to know that.

You should also be aware that these are extremely nasty destructive mushrooms that will kill the trees in your neighborhood if they start growing there. Apparently there is nothing that can be done once a tree is infected - it's doomed. So don't throw your spare mushroom bits into the compost heap or allow the spore print to potentially contaminate the neighborhood.

Happy Mushrooming!


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Offlineledfethered
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ToxicMan]
    #914654 - 09/28/02 12:57 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

Sounds like I better fry a little piece to try it. Most of the pictures do show a hairier cap too, but like I said, the example in my little field guide do no look hairy (young ones) at all.

Any ideas on preserving picked mushrooms? One of the biggest disappointments is the mushrooms are already too far along by the time I.D. them and do a safety taste test.

What do you make of the ones growing in the lawn?

I have read about their destructive capabilities, and they have a lot of forest to work with here! I have a wood stove, so I can burn trees that die of disease or other fate but it is worrisome about the trees you really want to keep! I read that these also seek and destroy cabbage especially and that the mycelium glows at night.

Should I gather the ones I wont be eating and put them out in the trash to reduce the propagation? Also, is there anything I can do to help propagate my lepoitas?

Thanks again,

Peace


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Only man's arrogance could deem a mushroom illegal.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #914688 - 09/28/02 01:30 PM (15 years, 2 days ago)

For Honey Mushrooms I usually fry them and freeze the cooked mushrooms. I understand they do pretty good if they are pickled, but I haven't tried them that way yet.

The ones in the lawn could be the same, if they're growing from buried wood. It is important that you verify that they are growing from wood.

While they can be very desctructive, they aren't always necessarily so. Apparently sometimes they will only be growing on trees which have already died. Last I heard, they still were studying why they're bad sometimes and not others. As far as trying to do something about the forest, here's a link from a US gov't website on the topic. Unless it's destroying the forest out there, you probably shouldn't do anything at all. If it's getting bad, that site gives some ideas and places to contact.

You could try to propagate the Lepiotas by putting caps of inedible ones in areas which are similar habitat and hoping. I don't know of anybody who ahs succeeded in that, but why not try? Good luck, and let us know if it works.

Happy Mushrooming!


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Offlineledfethered
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ToxicMan]
    #914885 - 09/28/02 03:10 PM (15 years, 1 day ago)

Thanks again Toxicman, you have become a very good friend here to me and I?m lucky to have such an interested respondent.

I have noticed that the Honey Mushrooms are still quite resilient after nearly 24 hours of sitting on the garage bench. I realized with the lapoitas that putting them in the refrigerator just dried them out very quickly. I like the idea of cooking then freezing the mushrooms, which will make for some quick and easy side dishes and soup additives. The crux of my question though is about that critical time between sighting and safe eating. It can take up to a day (for me as a beginner here on this site) to get a reasonably sure I.D. Then I have to taste test for 24 hours. In that time frame, the good mushrooms are now well past prime. What is the best method for keeping fresh ones as fresh as possible while the observation and I.D. process takes place?

I basically lost a whole harvest of lepoitas while sorting out I.D. and if I had picked last night, I would have had a bunch of young Honey Mushrooms before they opened up. I know I.D. will come faster as I get my books (going to town shopping tomorrow) and my experience developed, and of course, I have honey mushrooms and lepoitas down now already. I just groan at the loss of good eats right here on my property growing naturally. What a great thing though, to learn and discover natural useable stuff and also learn about the dangerous stuff as well!

I tried a sample of the Honey Mushroom just a while ago and it was great! I fried it in a little margarine and added no extra spices (except the salt in the margarine of course) and it tasted wonderful. It was a little sweet and I thought it tasted a little almondy or nutty. My lady tasted a piece too and she didn?t taste the nutty flavor but thought is was very good and sweet. I tasted nothing bitter or acrid whatsoever and the sample was from the younger open caps since I missed the closed young ones. The flesh had a little more chew to it than a basic white table mushroom. I see no reason not to eat the ones that have opened, my sample tasted very good.

If the ones in the lawn are not obviously growing from wood, what would be the danger?
Would this mean that they are another mushroom altogether, even though all indices are the same otherwise? Is there another look-alike that has all of the same traits except the habitat? We have had some trees taken down and stumps ground and we have hauled mulch across the lawn so I?m sure there are wood chips all over this area where they are growing. Could decayed chips provide the habitat but be almost indiscernible from the soil?

My forest is thriving just fine so I?ll not take any extreme measures. Thanks for the info though.

By the way Toxicman, is mycology a part of your profession? (If you don?t mind me asking) You?re certainly an excellent professor to me! I?m a metal specialist by trade; I work with stainless steel and other non-ferrous metal fabrication primarily.


Peace


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Only man's arrogance could deem a mushroom illegal.


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Offlineviscid
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #914950 - 09/28/02 03:48 PM (15 years, 1 day ago)

i wish i was toxicman.
hehe.
what else is there to say?
those are some bright honeys!
the ones i've found in the midwest (both tabescens and mellea) were mighty brown. they are tasty. i've read that there is much taxonomic confusion about the mellea "complex". it is said that the group may consist of more than 10 distinct species here in the pacific northwest, which might easily lead to toxicity confusion. nonetheless, despite the many adverse reactions, it has caused very few, if any, SERIOUS poisonings. i would eat em if they caused me no distress.
and toxicman knows whats up with the cooking, then freezing, most mushrooms prefer this treatment to almost any other.
keep up the good work, the honeys will definitely surprise you with thier frequency and ubiquitousness if your eyes are peeled, and you lepiotas will come back....as far as encouraging them goes, i can only suggest 6that if you knew what kind of wood they were loving, and if you could supply them with more of it, that was properly decayed for them to digest, they might just stick around. i dont know of any references....
good luck, and peace


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Offlineledfethered
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: viscid]
    #915080 - 09/28/02 04:39 PM (15 years, 1 day ago)

Thanks again Viscid!

All the help you guys provide makes all of this not only feasible, but fun!

Peace


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Only man's arrogance could deem a mushroom illegal.


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ledfethered]
    #915116 - 09/28/02 04:59 PM (15 years, 1 day ago)

For keeping them fresh for a day for two do what you do with mushrooms you buy at the store. Put them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. The paper bag will hold in enough moisture to help keep them from drying out, but won't make it so wet that bacteria grow everywhere. And the cold slows down all the aging and decomposition. That is, after all, why we have refrigerators in the first place.

I don't know offhand of a specific lookalike to Honey Mushrooms that doesn't grow on wood, it's just that they only grow on wood and you never want to eat an unidentified mushroom. Try digging with a knife at the base of the mushrooms and see if they are growing on old roots from one of the dead trees. I have never seen them growing from mulch, but I have seen them growing several feet from any tree from buried roots.

Losing mushrooms to the wait before you're sure you can eat them is annoying but a normal part of this hobby, especially when you're starting out. But you now know Honey Mushrooms and the edible Lepiotas, as well as a few poisonous mushrooms (Jack O'Lanterns, for example). You don't need to have the delay in the future ever again for those. Once you've tried most of the good edibles in your local woods the area starts being more like the produce section at the grocery, and all you have to do is walk into the woods and pick them up. It'll really blow your mind the first time you see a mushroom you've been picking in the woods for sale at a grocery for some outrageous price. I've seen Chanterelles in the store for over $20 a pound - during a year I picked over 150 pounds. And you'll be able to get stuff they'll never ever have at the grocery.

No, I am not a professional mycologist (it would be great to get paid to do this). I'm a computer geek. But I have been actively hunting and eating mushrooms for more than 25 years and very active with the Colorado Mycological Society (I was president a few years ago). I have had the opportunity to spend time assisting a number of prefessional mycologists in identification, and try to learn as much as I can when I do. Being around a mycological society really helps. Anytime I get stumped on one I found I can bring it in and have somebody more experienced than I am look at it, identify it, and tell me how to tell what kind it is.

As far as the danger of eating the wrong thing, I've spent time as a mycology consultant for the poison center. That means answering the phone in the middle of the night when some poor bastard has eaten the wrong damn mushroom and talking to some doctor or nurse who has been handed a mushroom and wants to know if they should put this guy on a liver transplant waiting list or not. After a couple calls and hearing about how sick these people are you get quite a bit more cautious. My time spent here is partially an attempt to proactively prevent a few of those visits to the emergency room and late night phone calls. One odd thing - every phone call I ever got was between midnight and 2 AM. As another person put it, if you're going to eat something that might make you sick, please do it in the morning. Then, when you get sick and we get called, I don't have to try and wake up in the middle of the night to try and figure out how sick you're going to be.

Happy mushrooming!


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Happy mushrooming!


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Offlineledfethered
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Re: Wow, look at these babies! ( I.D.) [Re: ToxicMan]
    #915552 - 09/28/02 08:35 PM (15 years, 1 day ago)


Thanks again for your excellent help! I had figured you to be a sort of do-gooder regarding this hobby. You have advanced my knowledge tremendously.

Thanks for the storage hint too. My lady and I went out and walked the property today and found all kinds of interesting stuff, including several other cashes of honey mushrooms. I picked a couple gallons and have them in the reefer in a loosely woven basket with moist paper towels on the top and bottom. I thought keeping the stems on would help the caps retain moisture as well.

All the Honey mushrooms were at the base of dead standing trees. So, they actually killed these trees? There is an area where they are prevalent and after seeing them today, I also saw more standing dead wood than I thought I had. Anybody need firewood? I?ve got over ten acres of forest here so a little thinning is natural I guess, here and there!

I have a bunch of pics of other stuff I?m finding and I?m going book shopping tomorrow. As you know I can only load about 6 pics a day on here now, so it?ll be a while before I get them on. I hope they can be useful to people and further the I.D. process in some small way.

By the way I did find a chunk of wood under the grass where the honey mushrooms appeared to grow in the lawn but not sure if it was a root. Certainly could be though as we have a parkland type backyard with many trees still standing.

We tried our mushroom taste at 1PM today and didn?t even have a psychosomatic reaction. I was thinking the same thing about the time frame. When I try a new mushroom, I want to have most of the day left to see what may happen, and also not do it right before an important day, in case I do get sick. I?m glad you?re here to help me and ?there? to help the people that you do who get sick.

Thanks again and see ya around!


Peace


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Only man's arrogance could deem a mushroom illegal.


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