fungi mushrooms

Don’t trust your gut (about mushrooms)

I don’t trust my gut.

🧠: I mean, my gut is wonderful. And it has a lot of essential and often critical information to share with the group. But it also has a pact with my brain to run their decisions past each other.

🤪: Because when it comes to mushrooms, my gut might be hungry, and therefore not thinking straight.

🍄🌳: I came across these mushrooms in the woods a while ago. They are quite a bit like the oyster mushrooms that grow nearby, but my gut said they weren’t oysters.

🤪🍽️: The next time I walked by, my gut had changed its mind. Y’know what, it said, our regular oyster mushroom tree might be spent. And maybe these *are* oyster mushrooms, and just don’t look like what you’re used to? You don’t have your books with you, maybe there’s some variation or exception you’re not remembering… So I was like, okay gut, let’s settle this. And I brought one back to the house for spore printing. Tag brain, you’re up.

🍄⏳: The photo in the centre of the top row, and the large photo beneath, are the same mushroom. *Exactly* the same mushroom. One day later, but now having released its spores to paper. Oyster mushrooms have a white spore print. And while colour perception varies from person to person, I think we can all agree these spores do not look like newly fallen snow. They don’t even look like snow that’s fallen on a gritty city street, been driven over for several days, and is now compacted in the gutter with bits of asphalt in it. This here, this is a brown spore print.

🍄🌨️: The far right of the top row is a less intentional oyster mushroom spore print that I happen to have right now. An old oyster log I have was fruiting, and I pulled a couple of small mushrooms off it a few days ago, and laid them out to dry. As the mushrooms dry, they release their spores. Their very white snow-fallen-on-a-frozen-lake spores.

🍄⛔: I don’t know yet what the mushroom at top left, top centre, and bottom enlarged is — I’m strongly leaning Crepidotus — but I know for certain what it *isn’t*. And in mushrooming, knowing what isn’t is nearly as valuable as knowing what is.

“Science is magic that works.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

🍄❤️: Take care of your gut. Don’t let it wander the woods alone. 😉