Wondering how to tell which mushrooms are edible? Learn on the fall mushroom walk

These Cortinarius caparatus, commonly called gypsy mushrooms. Photographed by Garret Taylor, a sous chef at the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino in Salamanca, New York. Find out if they're edible at the Fall Mushroom Walk hosted by Audubon Nature Center.
These are Cortinarius caparatus, commonly called gypsy mushrooms. Find out if they’re edible at the Fall Mushroom Walk hosted by Audubon Nature Center. Photo courtesy Garret Taylor

How do you plan an event that requires rain when you can’t predict the weather?

You invite folks to sign up if they are interested, then call them when the cool and rainy conditions needed are present and the mushrooms produced.

Those are the plans of the Audubon Nature Center for their Fall Mushroom Walk, an event part of their Taste of Nature Series.

The workshop will be at the Audubon Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Rd, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, NY, and Warren, PA.

To be placed on the call list, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours or sign up online by clicking here. When conditions are right, you will be called with a date and time.

The program begins inside with a slideshow and talk. Fungi, including mushrooms, are one of the most diverse but least known groups of organisms. You will learn some basic background on fungal diversity, their ecological roles, tips on identifying common species of the area, and information on toxins and edibility.

Admission is $16 for the public and $12 for Friends of the Nature Center and children ages 9-15.

Participants are reminded to dress for the weather. Mud boots and bug spray are recommended.

The mushroom walk will be lead by Garrett Taylor, a chef and advanced amateur in mushroom societies, and Dr. Scott Stoelson, an amateur mycologist or hunter for over 30 years.

Garrett Taylor, a sous chef at the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino in Salamanca,  became interested in wild mushrooms soon after embarking on his culinary journey. For more than a decade he has delved into the field of mycology (the study of mushrooms) with passion, has become an active advanced amateur with a couple of mycological societies and has given several educational demonstrations. You can follow his explorations on this Facebook page.

Dr. Scott Stoleson is a professional ornithologist who has published more than 50 scientific papers on ecology and conservation of birds. He has been an amateur mycologist (mushroom hunter) for over 30 years. He has conducted extensive avian research and has led natural history tours to the Caribbean and Latin America. Now he is the Research Wildlife Biologist at the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station lab in Irvine, PA.

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