If you are like me and enjoy (or rather crave) the euphoric satisfaction of confidently identifying a plant, mushroom, or any other organism for that matter, then I’m sure that you can relate and offer your sympathy for when the exact opposite happens. Sometimes, due to no fault of your own, your seemingly careful and thorough research leads you further and further astray, coaxing you instead through a labyrinth of overwhelmingly complicated and outdated taxonomic literature that few sane amateur mycologists wish to trouble themselves with. Allow me to introduce you to Boletus subvelutipes. (more…)
Continuing on the theme of long overdue posts (referring to my previous post discussing hemlock reishi, Ganoderma tsugae), my surprise encounter in late May of 2016 with an extensive patch of Agaricus bitorquis was probably one of the most fruitful foraging adventures of that whole year. I was nearly in hysterics after discovering these hefty beasts discretely heaving themselves up and through mounds of wood chips. I couldn’t keep it together for quite a while thereafter, as I still have a problem with getting way too excited about these sorts of things. (more…)
From time to time during my frequent research binges I will stumble upon a plant that really sticks out from all the others, at which point I then compulsively attempt to learn as much about it as I can. After safely and securely storing that information away, deep within the recesses of my mind palace, I’ll hopefully be able to recall it at a certain point in the future when it is perhaps more relevant for me to think about. Trust me, this happens way more often then you think it does. (more…)
Although it is most certainly not June outside (as much as I would like for it to be) I couldn’t help but write a post about the first time that I encountered Ganoderma tsugae, a strikingly beautiful and highly medicinal mushroom back in the hot, humid deciduous forests of southern Ontario back in 2015. This is exactly what happens when you take so many photos of plants and fungi on your excursions during the summer and can’t get to them all in season. (more…)
The common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) hardly needs an introduction. It is one of only a few plants that the vast majority of those inhabiting temperate climates worldwide can easily recognize. Many of these same people are very likely to have interacted with dandelions in a meaningful way as well, whether as a child wishing upon the wispy seed heads or frustratingly attempting to remove them from a garden.
Yet as you will see, this lowly weed is not only both edible & medicinal but is also an excellent conduit in which we may learn about ourselves as a species, how we have fundamentally changed the world’s ecology and how we should best react to our changing environments and landscapes. Understanding the life cycle of and experiencing dandelions first hand as an edible or medicinal herb will help to shed light on what this one plant among countless others can teach us.