Hugh Erle Smith

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All California Club Foray, January 27, 2007

The All California Club Foray this past weekend was a real blast! 

Although we have not had any measurable rain since December 26th, and we have had some very cold temperatures (like the weekend of the Fungus Federation's 33rd Annual Fungus Fair and the SOMA Camp), the ground is damp or wet in many places. I found that some of my favorite places seemed to be deserts, when actually they're not. The leaves have piled up to 5 or 6 inches in lots of areas and there hasn't been any rain to pack them down. That means the mycelium can't get at them either. 

And with the big winds we had, there are lots of extra limbs and trees on the ground. Different than any other winter? No, same thing. Familiar spots where I know something will come up can't be seen. 

So now there's this huge carpet of debris, waiting for the rain. 

And it DID rain, at least in Albion, anyway. It was enough to get my glasses wet and make me wish I had a hat. 
No rain, no rainbows.

It may not be good this year, but next year could be KILLER!

Some year WILL be killer again! Great hunting can't happen every year, but great things come to those who are patient. 

And in fact, great things DID come this weekend. 

I went over on Thursday to do a telephone installation job on the coast, and do a little hunting and scouting before the Great Foray. 

Even with the lack of recent rains, Hedgehogs were around (umbilicatum and repandum), Black Trumpets, Yellow Feet, Candy Caps, Pigs Ears (this late?!), White Chanterelles, Gold Chanterelles, y'know, the usual stuff, but, there were some EXCITING things too.

There were great Hygrocybes, one ugly and shiny capped Phalluscybe, some awesome Lactarius, Slime Molds, Salamanders, Newts, and LOTS of great people. Man, this crowd was a blast! The weekend seemed so short!

Not enough daylight. Not enough nighttime either! They certainly know how to have fun! 

The Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz (FFSC) and the recently formed Bay Area Mushroom Society (BAMS) put together a wonderful and well organized event. The food was terrific.

The location is very nice, centrally located to most people who were there (Fort Bragg, Bay Area, Santa Cruz, Greenville, Upper Lake, Yuba City, Humboldt, Redding, Minnesota). 

And the speaker, Doctor Terry Henkel from Humboldt State University was very interesting. His talk was on fungi that break down wood and the way they do it. 

When he pulled up one of his first slides that showed chemical bonds,

I thought, "Wow, this is gonna be too deep and scientific for me, and probably most people in this room. I'm not into mushrooms this far yet. But it was fascinating! I feel he was able to convey his message to most of us regular folks so that we could understand, and even get excited about. Doctor Terry Henkel really knows his stuff. And I learned some great stuff, and had many questions answered.

The more I learn, the less I know. Thank you Terry! An excellent presentation! I look forward to doing this again! 

Post Script: I didn't write much, if anything, about the 33rd Annual Fungus Fair of the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz. 
I am now a member! 

Although it got down to freezing in Santa Cruz and everywhere else, tons of species were presented at their 33rd Annual Fungus Fair. 

The tables and exhibits were very well organized. I'm sure it was a lot of hard work. 

The ID experts were on hand to ID anything and everything, and the greeters made everyone feel welcome too. All in all, it was the people that made this event so great.

To see Herman Brown's web page for the event, which has most of the pictures I took, go to