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So what resources have you found most useful in identifying mushrooms and fungi? I am looking to start learning a bit about them since I have been taking a lot of fungus photos recently.By the way, there have been some magnificent fungi in your last few posts.
Hi John:I've been using the National Audobon Society field guide and found it quite useful. I just purchased "Mushrooms of Northeastern North America" by Bessette, Bessette, and Fischer. This one is clearly the more comprehensive guide. I have found it very important to take a lot of pictures of all of the features of the fungi. I take a lot of notes in the field as well, trying to describe all the relevant details for identification purposes. Every single feature is important as any species of mushroom can take a large number of shapes and colors etc. over its short lifetime. I use a pocket knife to take the thing apart and examine the interior. The longer I work with mushrooms the more detailed my examination in the field. It is very frustrating to get home with nice pictures but not be able to make an identification because you can't separate it from other species because you didn't observe the distinguishing features. Its a really interesting hobby because there are thousands of species and it requires reall detective work to nail the identification. I have lots more pictures to post and I'll be doing this over the course of the winter. I can hardly wait for Spring to get back out in the field. I still have lots of mushrooms that are awaiting identification. Oh yes, and the spore prints. I find this frustrating because it means packing the specimens and bringing them home and waiting for hours. I often don't get a spore print or can't tell if it is white or just didn't produce. I hope to become more proficient this year with the help of this new book.
Thanks. Since my main interest is in birds, I am not sure how much detail I will be going into, but I would at least like to be able to make identifications to genus or family.
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