Special issue, June 1999
Spring Fungi of the Sierra Nevada Class
by Herman Brown
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For this special issue, I decided to include pictures and information about the one-week mycology course I had just taken at the Northern Sierra Field Campus of the University of San Francisco, located on Highway 49, just east of Bassets, California.
Click on any picture to see a larger image
Since I started this newsletter, I have corresponded with several mycophiles who have encouraged me to take the Spring Fungi of the Sierra Nevada class: Mike Wood, Fred Stevens, Steve Trudell, and Mike Boom. I think, after seeing me struggle with the identification process, they all felt that I would benefit greatly by taking the class.
On the way to the campus, I stopped to visit a friend who lives during the summer months in Graeagle, John Langenour. When I told John I planned to take pictures during the class and include them in a special edition of the newsletter, John was very generous in lending me his digital camera, a Sony MVC-FD81.
The camera was set up for 640x480 image sizes, and was kept in the FINE mode. I reduced the image sizes as needed to minimize the time for downloading each page, but I have included links for the larger-sized images.
Unfortunately, I didn't clean the lens very well!
Most of the pictures were taken using John's camera. Thanks again, John.
The field campus is located about 1 mile east of Bassets, CA, which is at the south intersection of Highway 49 and the Gold Lake Highway, in the Northern Sierras, at about the 6000-foot level.
Needless to say, it got very COLD at night. The lodging included tent camping, hot showers, and all meals (as long as you paid for them).
The weather during the whole week was nice and clear except for the cold nights, especially on the first night.
The class was taught by Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin, Systematic Mycologist, who teaches in the Biology Department at San Francisco State University and has taught this course at the field campus for a total of 6 years. A link to his website at the university is: http://www.cel.sfsu.edu/sierra/faculty.cfm?selection=faculty&facultyid=154055
Every day, around 11am, we would all go out together with the instructor and visit at least two local mushroom picking sites. We didn't seem to find many mushrooms, but what was missed in quantity, was made up in variety. In total, we identified 148 species, 4 of which were new to the class list.
In July, Fred Stevens sent me a message telling me that he had finally identified the following nine jelly fungi that he found during the class:
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