Recording your finds at the Mushroom Observer

AMC Foray 08-13 29Time for a little science!  There is a great database on the Internet called the Mushroom Observer.  It’s like a supercharged, shared logbook that allows you to record every detail of mushrooms you find, for your own information as well as for future reference by scientists and amateur fungophiles alike.  Many members of the Arizona Mushroom Club have posted observations here.

This is a very sophisticated database that logs not just basic stuff like common name and date and location, but also photos, GPS coordinates, and much more.  You can show as detailed or vague a location as you choose, if you want to keep the site of your favorite porcini patch a secret. You can log the trees it was found under, the characteristics of the soil, weather, you name it.  If you send a specimen in to a herbarium, or keep it yourself, you can log that here too.

The site also helps you get the detailed spelling of the scientific binomial name and the name of the describing authority correct.  Members of the community can comment on each others’ observations and photographs, vote for or against specific identifications, or propose new names.

You can search the database to show you all the specimens found in a certain area, or by a certain individual, or belonging to a certain genus. You can map observations with Google Maps, or create a species list for a foray you have been on. It will even keep a “Life List” of species you have found. As I find more and more species, and sample them for eating according the Leathers Edibility Test, I think I will start to keep track of them here, with notes on whether or not they agree with my tummy.

I have added a link to the sidebar that goes directly to a list of the most recent observations for the state of Arizona.  Hope you take the time to add some of your finds to the database.

About Christopher May

Chris is a radiologist in private practice in Scottsdale. He is married to Barbara May, with two grown children, Megan and Nick.
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