Colorado mushroom hunters say the recent rainfall across the state is ushering in an August bounty of fungus.
If you’ve been wondering about the mushrooms growing underfoot on your high-country hikes or in your lawn, here’s your chance to learn everything you want to know about mushrooms.
The Colorado Mycological Society is sponsoring a virtual mushroom fair and exposition, featuring free webinars on how to identify wild mushrooms, how to cultivate them, where to find them, and more.
The fungal extravaganza takes place Sunday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Join via the Colorado Mycological Society’s (CMS) Facebook page, where a zoom link will be available prior to the event.
“Please join us for a day of fungal fun,” said Jon Sommer, President-Elect of CMS and an organizer of the virtual symposium. “There’s a wide world of mushrooms waiting for you to discover, and our lineup of speakers will get you started.”
Highlights of the day’s offerings include: “Mushroom Identification” with local expert Jon Sommer, starting at 1:15 p.m.; “Culinary Adventures,” with mycophagist Linda DeLeon, starting at 2:20 p.m.; a virtual “tour of mushrooms collected in Colorado, with Andy Wilson, Assistant Curator of Mycology at the Denver Botanic Gardens, starting at 1:30 p.m.
The day’s virtual events will be capped off at with a lecture by Cathy Cripps, a professor of mycology at Montana State University. Cripps is an expert on Rocky Mountain fungi.
The full schedule of free webinars is available on the CMS website.
If you find mushrooms in your yard or the mountains–and want them identified by an expert–you’ll be able to drop them off at the Denver Botanic Gardens, at 10th and York, prior to the virtual fair. Instructions on how to do this will be posted on the CMS website soon.
“Many people are scared of wild mushrooms,” said Sommer. “At our virtual symposium, you’ll learn why you should love mushrooms! People can touch any mushroom without getting sick or hurt in any way, and once you learn a little bit about them, you’ll be amazed at how many more you’ll start seeing and how beautiful and they are.”
And here’s a bonus: Foraging for mushrooms lends itself to social distancing, say mushroom hunters, so now is a great time to pick up the new hobby of mushroom hunting.