As promised, here are the photos I decided to put before you as finalist nominees for our picture of the year. The winner will be announced at the winter potluck meeting of the Arizona Mushroom Club on Thursday, Dec. 11.
It was really hard to pick from so many good ones. I could not keep it to just 12, and ended up putting 15 images in the contest.
I tried to include a good cross section of the Arizona mushrooming experience. It would have been easy to choose a dozen awesome photographs of nothing but the amazing morel flush from September and October, or luscious fat king boletes. But that would have done a disservice to the many excellent pictures of less charismatic species like lichens and LBMs and polypores that were submitted.
Likewise, I wanted to make sure the talents of so many of our contributors were recognized. I could have easily filled up the finalist roster with 3 each from Anthoni Goodman, Serge Klokov, Kevin Widner, Paula Redinger, and Lisa Goodwin, but that wouldn’t have been quite fair.
There were many other photos I wanted to include, but for whatever reason (duplicative, out of focus, badly lit, not taken in Arizona) they just didn’t quite make the cut. I hope you’re not upset if you miss out; your pictures are still going to be recognized in the slide show that will be playing as we have supper at our winter meeting on Thursday. And there’s always next year!
Thanks again to all the entrants and everyone else who has contributed to our congenial and knowledgeable community, now over 300 strong since we started it up. It is a very gratifying feeling to know I’m not just a lone eccentric muttering to myself about mushrooms and toadstools. And thanks for your civil and pleasant dialogue. I’ve not had to expel any members yet and I hope to keep it that way.
And now, let the voting begin! If you’re on Facebook, the easiest way to vote for your favorite is to go to the corresponding album there and hit the “Like” button. If you’re not on Facebook, leave a comment below with your vote(s). (Note that comments can be left anonymously, but IP numbers are logged, and duplicate votes will be ignored.)