Fungi Fridays: Unknown*

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Unsure about the ID of these, and all my research on fungi foraging warns against picking any little brown mushrooms (called LBMs). Nice to look at, regularly not so nice to eat 🍴 the little brown ones are commonly difficult to ID and land many a brave soul in the hospital. They’re a huge reason why many adults tell children all mushrooms are poisonous (when it’s not nearly that simple, but I get it – better safe than sorry!). It’s possible they’re edible, but not likely enough to chance it without further info. I’m thinking they might be mycena? I have no clue though ><

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Genus: Unknown

Species: Unknown

Edibility: Unknown

Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor is a novice) – but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!

Fungi Fridays: Bear Bread mushroom*

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Here’s an Artist’s Conk (less commonly known as Bear Bread) fungus Sam crossed a river to cut down – he’s a big fan of Samwise Gamgee from LOTR, and I happen to be as well – sorry Frodo – so Teamwise was born!

The Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum) is a bracket fungus that grows within the wood of living and dead trees. It is a saprobic wood-decay fungus (meaning it colonizes rotting wood and dead organic matter), and it is quite inedible. But, though I can’t imagine the hungry forager who would deem this fungus edible, this fungus is also called “Bear Bread” for the obvious reasons.

Sam took a big dunk in the river to get this fungus too :O I recorded him making the trip across, and I’ll likely post videos on my Instagram of his trials and tribulations (thanks again Samwise!)

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Genus: Ganoderma

Species: applanatum

Edibility: inedible

 

Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor is a novice) – but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!

 

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Fungi Fridays: Turkey Tail mushroom*

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Trametes versicolor

(NOTE: I know today is Saturday – but the post didn’t publish yesterday as scheduled for some reason 😦 wonder why…got some sleuthing to do!)

Nothing like the famed bird so fondly consumed on Turkey Day, these ‘shrooms are in the polypore family. I’ve seen some polypore species cooked (@mallorylodonnell has great fungi cooking pics on Instagram, I love her feed) but they aren’t considered “choice.” That means lazy cookers should steer clear of bracket fungi, because it takes some work to tease the flavor outta these babies (ONLY cook the tender edges, the closer to the base you get the woodier your meal will be! And only cook YOUNGEST bracket ‘shrooms you find).

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Genus:  Trametes

Species: versicolor

Edibility: Edible with work, not choice

 

*Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers’ actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor is an amateur) – but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!

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The Superheroes Beneath Your Feet

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Pleurotus ostreatus growing on a dead tree stump

Do you want to help reverse the damage we humans have inflicted upon the Earth?

Interested in learning what you can do in your own backyard to remediate the Earth’s natural cycles of nutrients, which humans have disrupted with factories upon industries upon capitalism?

If we don’t protect the Earth’s biodiversity, we’ll have to say goodbye to many of the organisms we enjoy today, including all flowers and fruit.

Mycoremediation, which is use of fungi as a bioremedy to eat up plastics and other contaminants, is one solution – one we can all participate in every now and then. With a little sweat, we can preserve soil diversity so that our children will know the joys of reaping literal fruits of their hard labor. Read more at Ctenidium [ten-ID-ee-um].

Travel Theme: Trees

Time for another Travel Theme post! Topic: Trees.

I am especially glad to focus on trees in this week’s theme; they’re the earth’s lungs, and humans often underappreciate plants in general – taking time to spotlight trees is nice. As you might know, we’re facing a drought in California and, perhaps more alarmingly, the sixth mass extinction – this extinction means trees (not to mention many other organisms!) are losing their habitats, which lessens the amount of water that precipitates. Lessening precipitation only worsens that drought. Trees are a huge provider of what is arguably our most precious resource, which I find to be more than enough reason to care about trees, and plants in general. Maybe you’ll be inspired by this post to dig deep and plant a tree,  or start a garden! Enough textual endorsement – some of my favorite tree images are below; hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me!

First up, the gnarled roots of a Muir Woods tree, extending up and out into the beaten path as if to grab wandering passersby:

Gnarled roots at Muir Woods

Next up,  we’ve got what struck me as an interesting formation in the bark of another Muir Woods tree. It struck me that a barkine wizard was escaping the confines of this trunk – what does it look like to you?

Resembles a barkine wizard to me, look like anything to you?

Barkine wizard emerging from a tree in Muir Woods

These trees grew together to form mazes in their canopies; there are so many paths in the leaves! Canopies are always unique and beautiful.

Canopy mazes at Muir Woods

Canopy mazes at Muir Woods

Speaking of, these trees’ canopies form a person’s figure in their negative space – or a cross maybe? I suppose it depends on who’s looking 🙂

Person’s figure, or a cross, in negative space of canopies at Muir Woods

This was SUCH an awesome formation of trees; they grew together to form walls, and at one point there’s an opening you can crawl through (that dark point on the picture near the earth/center of the photo). It was certainly a fascinating place to have lunch!

“Tree Room” at Wildcat Canyon

And finally, we have a huge two-canopied tree at Wildcat Canyon. Always so much interesting, wonderful life at Wildcat Canyon – was definitely in awe of this beautiful tree.

Huge two-canopied tree at Wildcat Canyon

This has been my take on Ailsa’s wonderful tree travel theme; see it here: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2015/04/24/travel-theme-trees/

Big thanks to Ailsa for stating that it was Arbor Day – Happy Belated Arbor Day! (Totally forgot!) Apparently, National Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on best tree-planting times in their area. Here’s to trees!

In peace, Taylor

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.

~Willa Cather

In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike. And no two journeys along the same path are alike.

~ Paulo Coelho

Noosa Biosphere: Sustainable Luxury

Here’s an article I wrote for The Karmic Press! It is wonderful working with Cheyenne Burroughs, and I look forward to my next venture with TKP. In case anyone’s wondering, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus lately (more on that later) – but I’m working on getting back in the groove of things, and this is a great way to begin! Hope you enjoy!


Floating Land Festival

Photo courtesy of David Shipton. http://www.morninggloryphotography.wordpress.com

Imagine a place where everyone, together as one human race, walks through life with a mind to educate the world community about depletion of natural resources. Each person mindful of their carbon footprint and seeing a relationship with environment as a precious connection. A community who plans together for long-term conservation in order to indulge in the resources necessary for putting on awesome cultural events: Floating Land Festival, Noosa Biosphere FestivalGreen Art awards that celebrate community engagement with sustainability, and sustainable surfing (just to name a few).

This is how people in Noosa Biosphere Ltd. (NBL) live: beautifully and, more importantly, mindfully. They are especially mindful of the three biosphere principles:

                  Conservation                      Sustainability                       Learning

These three principles are the backbone of any biosphere, which can be termed as “the zone of life on earth, a closed system (apart from solar and cosmic radiation and heat from the interior of the Earth), and largely self-regulating.” [Wikipedia] There are over 550 UNESCO-recognized biospheres worldwide, designated as such in efforts to reassess human relationship to environment.

NBL is one such site. But it’s more than just a site – it’s a living community of folks who stand above the crowd through commitment to social accountability – e.g., helping humans understand how their footprint affects nature through eco-conscious industry, or getting involved on one of six community sector boards, which support civilian participation in government of the region. NBL residents see the long-term benefits of society working together to improve conservation status and sustainable practices. While Yosemite National Park upholds civic engagement and historic preservation, and the Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve (GGBR) provides easy access to nature recreation/education – which are great resources necessary to encourage research on sustainable economic development – it falls under local responsibility to demonstrate a balanced relationship between themselves and nature. I am proud to say that Port of Richmond (part of GGBR) has wonderful city officials whistleblowing Chevron Refinery’s corner-cutting, but we still don’t have the same widespread organic forging of community guided by sustainable development. In Noosa, the community are part and parcel to the nature. Their government only shut down once in its history, and, thankfully, they didn’t think it necessary to “shut down” nature on public land.

The US Govt. shut down from October 1-16 2013 prevented access to public land. If it's public land...why can't I access it?

No, America! NO Muir Woods for YOU. You’ve had enough already.

Imagine if you lived in a habitat like Muir Woods or Yosemite. Let me tell ya, the native Aussies and their lucky visitors are living that dream. Everyday they work, learn, and live on – excuse me – in harmony with a UNESCO site. By communing in and with nature, these people learn the ins and outs of their habitat and, thus, are able to understand the biological and cultural processes that lead to depletion of the earth’s resources.

And just in case you still believe that climate change is a hoax, NEWSFLASH – human-produced greenhouse gases and forestry are two of the biggest contributors to our aquifers being depleted here in CA and desertification the world over. Don’t want draughts? Then quit the unsustainable land management: we cut down our forests and use the land for grazing animals, then overgraze the land due to human demand for beef. In grasping habits which ruin the earth’s hydrological cycle, we prevent the earth from naturally filling our taken-for-granted aquifers and reserving water year-round. We can do better, and we know so because NBL manages to integrate sustainable practice and economic feasibility. Some don’t think luxury and sustainability can co-exist, but NBL prove otherwise.

Tourism Noosa, the premier tourism organization of northern AU, commit to their own Sustainable Destination Action Plan (SDAP). Guided by a vision to redefine sustainable luxury, they take responsibility by leading redefinition of what tourism means for a community: “working together to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability for tourism in the Noosa region.” [SDAP] While there are many discrete organizations dedicated to sustainability in Northern CA, there exists no such staunch, organized consideration of ecotourism in any region of the state. We’ve got our work cut out for us! And it will only become more necessary to integrate sustainable practices in all parts of society as time goes on: we (and our #1 biosphere, planet earth!) aren’t gettin’ any younger! There will be no earth for our future young’ins to sustain if the environment keeps showing signs of what could be the 6th Mass Extinction.

Let us end with an inspirational quote from Phillip Moran, NBL Honorary Fellow and General Mgr. of Noosa & District Landcare:

“It’s a celebration of community, is a simple way of putting it. The interaction of man and environment. So it’s not just locking it up like a national park, it’s encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable practices and work together to try and keep this land in as good a possible condition as we can for our kids.”