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Six Easy Ways to Grow Mushrooms at Home

Sorry to have missed the March club meeting.  I will try to do my show and tell at the April meeting or whenever it is convenient.  In the meantime, I have a few notes made for my presentation that I'll post as blogs, along with some photos from ongoing cultivation projects. 

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Mystery Mushroom # 6

Ok, Bob made mushroom mystery # 5 look waaaay too easy.  So here's another crust type fungus up for guesses.  I found this one in mid-July on a large decaying log, looks like it might be maple.  The weather had gotten dry and there weren't many mushrooms to be found but this one was located in a deep, shaded hollow.  The log was probably two feet or more in diameter, providing a substantial store of moisture, and there she was.  The mushroom covered probably ten or more square feet of surface area but was less than a half inch thick.  It was pret

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Eggs Anyone?

In doing some research on the mystery mushrooms,  I believe I may have stumbled onto the identity of the bright yellow slime mold featured previously.  Although it is not as thick and yucky, to use the technical term, as is often the case I believe this may be Fuligo septica, the Scrambled Egg Slime.  Hmm, I think I'll have mine with hashbrowns and a side of toast! 

For additional information please see the photos and information at the link below.  I found the comments included there to be particularly interesting. 

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Mystery Mushroom #5

I am constantly amazed at the diversity of species and the diversity of form within the fungal world.  I see quite a few mushrooms I have not yet learned to identify and I enjoy finding them, even if they are not edible.  Sometimes I recognize the genus or general family, other times they are a complete mystery.  While we're waiting for some more spring-like conditions to roll around again, I have a few mushroom photos of the complete mystery variety from last year to share with our members and bedevil our experts.  The first of these is shown be

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Tick Test Follow-Up

Well, there will be no second test involving Tick #1.  The initial test subject expired within 24 hours of the test previously described, in which it crawled onto my Permethrin treated trousers.  I checked on it a couple times within hours of the test and it seemed to loose coordination, but remained alive and able to hang on to my skin during that time.  But when I checked on it this morning, it was no longer a going concern.  I harbor no ill will toward ticks, they are just trying to make a living the only way they know how.  But I don't want to contract Lyme dise

Season Prep

As we plan for a new season, its good to consider all the possible hazards that may confront 'schroomers, many of which are presented at the bottom of the "events" page. One that deserves special attention are Central PA's poisonous snakes: timber rattlers and copperheads. These rascals will leave hibernation about the same time morels appear. John Harpster caught this one in the Black Moshannon area last summer:

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Tick Experiment #1

Readers of my rambling blogs know that I recently learned from Ken about an insect repellent called Permethrin.  And that I did some research and found evidence that it is a better tick repellent than the DEET I had used for years.  And that I applied some Permethrin to a set of clothing and was looking for some insects with which to test it's effectiveness.  Well, last evening I received my first opportunity, in a most unusual way.  The story is too strange to be made up. 

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Got Ticks?

Today I got a bottle of 10% concentrate Permethrin, diluted some down to 0.5%, put it in a pump spray bottle and made an initial application to a set of light colored clothing.  Based on some of the claims I have heard, I'm feeling ten feet tall and tick proof.  The hunted has now become the hunter.  Yep, I am itching to conduct some live insect trials to see how well the stuff really bugs the bugs.  For the initial application to the trousers I only sprayed the upper waistband area and the lower nine inches of the pant legs.  I do want to b

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The Black Foot - Polyporus elegans

Here is a fairly common mushroom leftover that you may come across during early season walks.  If I had to choose two words to describe it, they would be thin and tough.  As can be seen in the photo below, the flesh of the mushroom is quite thin.  And it's also quite tough, woody or leathery in nature, and durable.  I found these specimens and several others late last fall in a favorite haunt.  When I visited the area this spring I checked in on them and found them still present, a little faded but not too much the worse for w

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St. Pat's Morel and The Most Difficult Experiment

Sorry Karen, I didn't find any morels again today.  But I did make some soil temperature measurements and they were promising.  I had checked the soil temperature in my yard back near the first of the month.  It was 39 degrees F at that first check.  Today I checked the same area and the temperature was a surprising 60 degrees.  That's southern exposure, full sun, at 3:00 PM.  But still surprisingly warm. 

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