Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 20, 2024

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MVNews this week:  Page 10


 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 20, 2024 

SELMA—Supersweet and Beautiful!

This absolute sweetheart 
found her way to us after being 
condemned to die at SEAACA. 
But that wasn't Selma's first 
brush with death. Selma ended 
up at SEAACA after someone 
locked her in a carrier and 
discarded her next to a dumpster 
in Downey.

We can't imagine what circumstances drove someone to 
abandon this cat in this manner, but we can say based on 
her microchip information and her 
disposition that her name is Selma, 
she is nine years old and previously 
spayed, and once upon a time she 
was deeply loved. If you have room 
in your heart and on your lap for this sweet, middle-aged gal, 
please fill out the application. She would be grateful for another 
chance. Born 2014. See more at
html, or use the qr code.


[Nyerges is the author of “Foraging California” (which has a section on mushrooms), “Guide 
to Wild Foods and Useful Plants,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. He has 
studied mycology, and led wilderness trips, since 1974. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle 
Rock, CA, or]



My serious pursuit of the natural world began before I entered high school. 
Of all the natural sci-ences, I found mycology the most fascinating and 
mysterious. There were scant few experts that I could consult with. Furthermore, you 
couldn’t just go out and study a specific mushroom any day you wish, as you might with, say, 
an oak tree. Mushrooms occur when 
conditions are right, in a somewhat 
unpredictable manner, and then they 
quickly decompose. 

So, in the early 1970s, I joined 
the L.A. Mycological Association 
to actively pursue my education 
of the mysterious world of fungi 
directly with experts, rather than 
books. I learned how to iden-tify 
wild mushrooms in the field, and I 
learned how to cook the edible ones. 
I had some great mentors from the 

I was interested in mushrooms from 
the standpoint of food, though it 
was always impressed up-on me to 
never eat any wild mushroom until 
I’ve taken the time to absolutely 
identify it. I had the opportunity to 
participate in the field to learn about 
the details of mushroom identifica-
tion. Through our monthly meetings 
with LAMA, I was given insight into 
the taxonomy of mushrooms, and 
many of the fine details for keying out 
a mushroom to genus, and ideally to 
spe-cies. Fortunately today, we have 
the internet which can dramatically 
speed up your learning pro-cess.


If you are a complete beginner, I would suggest seeking out a group local to you where you can 
get some field experience. You could inquire also through the North American Mycological 
As-sociation to find a group local to your area, at 

You can also search for field trips through local colleges and universities, through native 
plant organizations, and through general internet searches. There are many sources on-line 
for mush-rooms identification. My favorite is run by Michael Kuo.

Locally, you should attend the annual LAMA event on February 11, Sunday, at the L.A. 
County Arboretum from 9 to 4 p.m. This is an excellent way to see recently collected mush-
rooms and listen to lectures from experts.


The basic categories will be gilled and non-gilled fungi. The gilled fungi are further 
delineated by their spore color. Spores are analogous to seeds, and they fall from the gills 
onto the ground, and there are simple ways to determine spore color. There are some 
excellent pictorial guides for keying out the non-gilled fungi, such as ‘David Arora’s “All 
That the Rain Promises and More.”

Then, to key a mushroom to genus and species, you need to take note of all the specific 
details and you probably need to learn some new terms along the way. The details you need 
to know include (but are not limited to) the shape and texture of the cap, the way the gills 
meet the stem, the thickness or thinness of the stem, and where it is growing.

For non-gilled mushrooms, you will first deal with mushrooms that have pores (small tubes 
where the spores are formed) instead of gills. Non-gilled fungi are initially easy to determine 
genus. If it is not pored, you look at the overall shape. Is it like a ball, like coral, a sponge, etc. 


A good beginning to the study of mycology is the “foolproof four,” a term coined by Clyde 
Christensen in his “Common Edible Mushrooms” book. These are four edible mushrooms 
that are widespread, and easily identified. 

These are morels (Morchella spp), Puffballs, Inky caps, and Chicken of the woods.

These are not the only “easy” mushrooms to identify, but if you are a beginner, start there. 
Then learn the other common mushrooms in your area. There are many common wild 
mushrooms that are found nation-wide such as oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, and field 
mushrooms (Agaricus campestris).


Mycology is a Science, and it requires a substantial amount of study and field work to be able 
to collect wild mushrooms and eat 
them without getting sick or dying. 

And in March of 2009, life-long 
mushroom hunter Angelo Crippa 
collected some mushrooms in the 
hills above Santa Barbara, California. 
He sautéed them, and ate them, and 
told his wife they were delicious. 
Unfortunately, rather than an 
edible species, he collected a close-
lookalike, Ama-nita ocreata, which is 
deadly. Even with hospital treatment, 
he survived only 7 days in what be-
came a painful death.

Pet of the Week

Chet is the life of the party wherever 
he goes! This handsome two-year-old 
extroverted husky is ready to make you his 
new BFF!

Chet know

s how to work a room. He basks in attention 
from adults, kids, and other dogs. He is 
happiest when someone is petting him, 
brushing his luxurious coat, or, if you’re a 
dog, playing with him! He wants to play 
with nearly every dog he sees!

 It appears that Chet is housetrained, and he has been working on training cues with the 
volunteers at Pasadena Humane. He’s not particularly treat-motivated, but he hasn’t found 
a toy that he doesn’t love, and he’ll go through all his tricks until you give it to him. 

 Chet is energetic, so having another large dog for him to play with would be nice. He has 
bonded quickly with some of the dogs he’s spent time with while out on field trips. 

 Chet is an all-around fun dude and he's ready to brighten up your days!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, and 
age-appropriate vaccines. 

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal 
Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet. 

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment at pasadenahumane.
org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available 
every Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. Limited same-day appointments are available 
during weekend Visiting Hours. Check website for times.

 Helen Wong with Reishi mushroom she grew

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