Every year seems to have some outstanding mushrooming event for me. 2009 was the year of the discovery - discovering unfamiliar mushrooms. It's one of my favorite things. Let others fill their baskets with chanterelles and boletus. That's OK with me. I'm into discovery.
2009 found us encountering fungi in Port Orford that we'd never previously found. How can that be? Over the past 10 years, we've spent many a carefree hour wandering the forestlands that dominate the landscape. Yet, it was only in 2009 that we sighted gymnopilus spectabilis and other heretofore unseen fungi. Serendipity, that's the only possible explanation!
Another discovery: Thanksgiving 2009 was spent in Yosemite. Imagine our astonishment when the fee taker at the entrance to the national park answered our question about mushrooming by pointing and saying: "There's a huge cluster of some kind of mushrooms over there". He was most certainly right. We were greeted by a massive collection of collybia growing within 200 feet of the west entrance to the park.
We were delighted to find boletes in
Surely that's what keeps me motivated to continue wild mushrooming even after all these years: the discovery, the challenge of unearthing a new-to-me species. It's this incentive that is the driving force that lures me back into the woods time after time. And, it's one of the reasons that I'm looking forward to 2010 with such enthusiasm!