Local mushroom enthusiasts embrace the rain finally falling as it kicks off the annual flush of mushrooms in the region.
Whatever comes of the long-delayed downpours, members of the South Island Mycological Society will show it off during the annual mushroom show on Sunday, Nov. 6. Society members spend the days before the show collecting specimens from throughout the region to showcase the broad range of what grows on the south Island.
Society president David Walde hopes the unusually extended warm weather, that lingered to mid-October, brings out some interesting specimens.
“We really would like to see some rain to encourage those mushrooms to come out, but there is always something out there. Nature is very resilient. The mushrooms adapt,” Walde said. Each year the variety of mushrooms on display changes as they are affected by rainfall and temperature. Often a few rarely seen species are on display, non-native species crop up and occasionally something new is discovered.
The annual show is an opportunity to learn what grows in forests to urban ecosystems across the Island and how they relate to other species. Mycologists and mushroom enthusiasts are on hand for the show to discuss mushroom characteristics, how they can be identified and surprising mushroom facts.
Show attendees are invited to bring mushrooms from their own yards and neighbourhoods for identification and to find out more about the mushroom lifecycle. To have a species identified, collect the entire mushroom, including the base and a bit of the growing surface, and wrap it in wax paper to protect its features. It is recommended to note the mushroom’s growing environment as well as what other plants and trees are in the area.
The club also creates an annual fundraising calendar. The 2023 edition features 14 mushroom photographs and illustrations by society members and costs $25.
The annual South Vancouver Island Mycological Society mushroom show is Sunday, Nov. 6 at the St. Luke Anglican Church, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is by donation. Visit www.svims.club for more information about membership and events.
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