Stanislaus National Forest (5/22/2022 – 5/26/2022)

This past week, I was in the Western Sierras to take a four-day immersive class via Columbia College (where I got my first CalNat certification) called “Mushrooms and Other Fungi.”

First of all, there are a lot of photos on my blog post. Apologies if this makes it difficult to load them or anything. I actually crashed the WordPress app when I tried adding all my photos from the start! If it proves to be troublesome, lemme know. And, I shan’t do it again.

Second of all, there are a lot of photos, which is a good thing since there’s no way I can truly chronicle all of my time there. So, it’s a very good thing my photos can serve as that document.

There’s far too much to post, but highlights include actually having a formal intro to FUNGI, spending four full days in that magical place, getting to see what the area looks like in the Spring (!), seeing plants not yet in bloom that I recognized from last Summer when they were in bloom, ALL THE FLIPPIN’ BUTTERFLIES (including my frequent mascot, the Pale Swallowtail), so many newtome EVERYTHING, snow on the mountains and on the ground, learning where the morels are and seeing them in the wild for the first time and finding one on my own and picking it, mushroom hunting everywhere we went, seeing an actual TOAD for the firsttimeever that just happened to be endangered (Yosemite Toad!), taking outdoor showers with bats flying overhead, starting off my last morning with Tai Chi (courtesy of the gals who recently took a class at CC for it), and making my first (successful) spore print!

So many good things, and I’ll be back in the area in twelve days. Looking forward to seeing all the changes then. And, with friends!

All in all, I got a decent introduction and now own a book and a guide to help me in future fungi IDs. I now know that mushrooms are a small subset of fungi, you can touch any fungus without fear of it harming you (ingesting it is another story), and you can pick any mature fruiting body above ground and not harm the actual fungus below ground. And, I learned, yet again, that I want to learn more. A running theme I’m finding myself in time and time again!

If you’re curious to know exactly what the flora and fauna and fungi are in my overwhelming amount of photos, take a look at my corresponding observations on iNat (user = karenoffereins). Yeah. It’s A LOT.

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