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Wild mushrooms take center stage

Posted: Monday, Jan 14th, 2013

Kathy Pearson of Santa Cruz photographs a natural habitat display that features hundreds of mushrooms Saturday at the annual Fungus Fair in Santa Cruz. (Photos by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian).

SANTA CRUZ — Mushrooms were the talk of the town over the weekend during the 39th Annual Santa Cruz Fungus Fair. Hundreds of people poured into the Louden Nelson Community Center to learn about area mushrooms, get a taste of gourmet mushroom dishes, or take part in a host of hands-on activities.

This year more than 300 species of mushrooms were hauled in to the identification table by community members hoping to learn about mushrooms they’ve found in their yards, neighborhoods or on hikes, said Adam Ryszka who worked at the identification table.

“This year we’re seeing a lot of mushrooms that don’t typically grow around here,” Ryszka said. “For some reason, we’re seeing mushrooms that usually grow in northern California. There’s a lot of diversity this year. There are a lot of tricholoma and lactarius are having a great year. We’ve seen 10s of pounds of candy caps come through the door.”

Kathy Pearson, who taught art in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District for about 30 years, took time Saturday to photograph mushroom displays.

“I just love the variety of colors, shapes and forms,” she said. “It’s just mind-boggling. And I really enjoy the natural setting they’ve created to showcase the mushrooms.”

For the complete article see the 01-15-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-15-2013 paper.

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