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Tom's Mushroom Photo Album
A picture gallery of mushrooms I have found.

I learned just a handful of mushrooms as a child. On walks with Grandma Josie, we mostly collected and studied wildflowers, but she would never pass up fresh meadow mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) when we found them. Once or twice each year we collected and ate fairy ring mushrooms (Marasmius oreades) from the lawn. We also collected inky cap mushrooms (Coprinus nivea), which usually dissolved into black ink in a bag in the refrigerator before we ever got around to eating them.

Morchella esculenta: Morel mushroom. Sometimes we ate the western giant puffball (Calvatia booniana). Grandma once used the spore mass from a dried puffball to promote clotting on a horse's wound. Her favorite was the morel mushroom (Morchella esculenta), and she loved to go morel hunting in the spring, but I usually missed that adventure since I was in school. We occasionally ate tree mushrooms, also known as oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus), which could be found growing on dead cottonwood trees about the same time the morels were popping up in the soil below. That was all I knew about mushrooms as a kid, and I've only learned a few more mushrooms since then, though my interest is growing more all the time.

In 1994 I "discovered" the king bolete (Boletus edulis) and the orange-cap bolete, thanks to my friend Jack Fee. We enjoyed both species with our meals on a camping trip, and the king bolete quickly became my favorite mushroom-- even more than morels! Years later at a family reunion I found king boletes sprouting up everywhere, and cooked them up for anyone brave enough to try wild mushrooms. Nobody died, and the treat actually seemed to go over quite well.

Thanks to local mycologists, I've learned several other mushrooms, like the slippery jack (Suillus brevipes) and the poor man's slippery jack (Suillus tomentosus), both of which are edible, but not that exciting. I also learned about red russulas (Russula spp.), most of which are hot and spicy like horseradish, but the milder ones are supposed to be edible.

Since I am definitely a book-learner, I never felt like I "knew" any of the mushrooms until reading up on them in my guide books. I relearned all of the mushrooms I grew up with, and have added a few more just by matching specimens to the pictures in my guides (which I cross-checked between several books).

Even so, I tend to be exceedingly cautious. I usually have to relearn several species each year. This web page is the start of a "life list" of mushrooms I have learned. Recording them here is my method for better remembering them. Be sure to click here for a look at my favorite mushroom guides.

Tom's Life List
(Under development!)

Subdivision: Basidiomycotina (The Spore Droppers)

  • Class: Hymenomycetes (The fertile "hymenium" layer contains spore-bearing cells which produce basidiospores)
    • Order: Boletales (Tube-like pores instead of gills)
      • Boletaceae: The Bolete Family
        • Boletus edulis --king bolete.
        • Leccinum insigne --orange-cap bolete.
        • Suillus lakei --painted suillus.
        • Suillus brevipes --slippery jack.
        • Suillus tomatosis --poor man's slippery jack.
    • Order: Aphyllophorales (Non-gilled mushrooms that produce basidiospores)
    • Order: Auriculariales (Tree Ears)
      • Auriculariaceae: Tree Ears Family
        • Auricularia auricula --tree ears.
  • Class: Gasteromycetes (The "stomach fungi": the mushrooms form a ball-like structure with the spores inside.)
Subdivision: Ascomycotina (The Spore Shooters)

-Check out my favorite mushroom guides.-

-See also Larry Evan's Fungal Jungal.-

      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

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