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Mushrooms in Northern California

Mushrooms in Northern California

Mushrooms in Northern California

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Trekking to Donner Peak in the Lake Tahoe area this morning I came across these beautiful mushrooms which I did not recognize, and on researching them came cross some fascinating mushroom data that is affecting California.

Mushroom in North CAThis article in the Atlantic points out the increase in mushroom poisoning this year due to all the the rainfall that California has experienced last winter. More rain, more mushroom and more poisoning. 14 cases in 2 weeks where in the past you would have a few every year. Apparently mushrooms are now being understood to not be plants at allbut closer to being part of the animal kingdom. The same mushroom can be responsible for all the mushrooms over several square miles due to the spores. They can spring up overnight because unlike plants and animals that grow by cell division, mushrooms grow by cell enlargement. it does not take much energy but can suck up water and grow by as much water as it can ingest safely. So the increase in rainfall in Northern California has been a s god send for the mushroom.

Its the Death Cap mushroom that has been causing all the problems and scientists are still trying to work out how it came to evolve into being poisonous. What was it gaining by doing so? As Tom Bruns , from the University of California, Berkeley, said “We don’t know.”

One hypothesis is that it helps to stay free of small other fungi that would grow and destroy the mushrooms cap before it had a chance to reproduce by releasing its spores.

One forager made soup from the wrong mushroom and slept for 3 days until she looked at herself in the mirror and realized she had turned yellow which prompted her to visit the hospital. For the worst cases a liver transplant is needed. Be careful out there!

Meantime, life is much more sedate at Apex Office Centers in northern California where we help out clients grow by offering office solutions, office rental and a phone answering service.

~ by John Tomnay. CEO at Apex Office Centers.