I’ve wanted a definitive guide to North American mushrooms since last spring. For Chanukah this year, Eric and Samantha gave one to me:
The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms is awesome — precisely what I was looking for. It is organized visually by different types of mushrooms (e.g., “small, fragile gilled mushrooms” and “veiled mushrooms with attached gills”), which makes it so easy to find whatever mushroom you happen upon in your North American travels. I quickly identified a slew of mushrooms that I typically find in the spring and summer, including the Orange Pinwheel Marasmius, the Lawn Mower’s Mushroom and the Scarlet Cup. It’s hard to express to people who aren’t mushroom nerds how exciting it is to be able to identify the “happy little mushrooms” (channeling Bob Ross) I stumble upon during hikes.
Previously, I had downloaded a free mushroom identification app (“Roger’s Mushrooms”) from Apple’s App Store. It was fun to browse, but you have to know the the Latin name of any given mushroom to use it effectively, making it impractical for amateur mycologists like myself. Once I got the Audubon field guide, I dumped the app.
Some girls get giddy about the September issue of Vogue. Me, I get excited about a 900 page mushroom guide.