Archivos de diario de abril 2020

20 de abril de 2020

Forays in the Age of COVID-19

I have been weary of making a journal entry lately because I needed to process so much in this new age we are living in. My partner started an immunosuppressive therapy on February 27th, and so we have been on high alert in our house. I have not left the house except for essentials, and no guests are allowed over for a while. There has been one exception, and that has been going on social distancing forays with our mushroom study group. We carefully plan a location and meet up to look for fungi and still getting so excited when we find something new.

Our group has been going out every two weeks since December. We have all invested in fungi tomes, shared resources, learned new vocabulary, developed an iNaturalist project, and bought microscopes to further help identify fungi. It has only been a few months, but we have been watching the season change from late fall, through winter, and now into spring. We have dubbed Calvulina rugosa "our friend" since this was the most widespread fungi we have seen every time we have gone out. It was just this past week where I did not find any evidence of it, and instead am now seeing the large Ascomycete's, like the Gyromitra and Helvella.

As we continue through this social distancing, I have found myself in the woods more often than I was before. I just took a trip to the foothills of the Cascades, to a disturbed logged area, some of which had been burned. I was on the hunt for Morels, to really understand the seasonality of mushrooms, I have been trying to get out every week, and I had a specific place in mind to look for Morels. Instead of Morels I found prolific amounts of Gyromitra esculenta. They were fruiting in the disturbed areas from logged hillsides, to disturbed forest ground to the sides of well marked trails. I did not find them in any undisturbed areas.

The significance of finding these Gyromitra, was a few days before I had just completed and given a presentation on the Discinaceae family of fungi. Within the presentation I focused on the Gyromitra genus, and had read everything from Micheal Beug's Ascomycete Fungi of North America to the chemical properties of Gyromitrin and the metabolized monomethylhydrazine.

The group of us that study mushrooms all have a passion for this and are trying so hard to become better at identifying mushrooms and habitats. Our forays, discussions, and research is bringing us closer to our goals and that is why it is so important for us to continue to get out, even during this time of social distancing. We have learned to connect via video group chat, and tried to do as much bookwork and research as possible. But when it comes to really learning these things, nothing substitutes for getting a hands on experince. We are all in this for the journey and are having so much fun discovering new things.

Publicado el abril 20, 2020 07:22 MAÑANA por autumna autumna | 5 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario