Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Audubon Mushrooms

Recently I decided to be bold enough and ask if I could reviews the Audubon apps.   Their answer was very quick and I was pleased to see that they agreed to provide various promo codes for the selection I had asked.   Essentially, I had asked for all the different apps that covers the North America.   Being an homeschooler, I am always on the lookup to see if I could find interesting apps that would help us to discover more about the various birds, plants, trees, bugs, and animals we could encounter while camping.   Being able to travel with our RV, we could be anywhere in CaIMG_7046nada or the US at any given spring, summer or fall months.

The previous week-end before I requested these apps, we had gone to our campsite to open our RV after many months of colder weather.   Even though it wasn’t as warm as previous years, we enjoyed the sunshine and went for a walk.   Close to the place where our Zodiac type boat is located, we saw beautiful mushrooms growing on the trunk of a fallen tree.   I admit that I am always curious to learn more about nature.   I enjoyed my ecology and biology courses when I was in high school.   But mushrooms always were a mystery for me.

imageThanks to the Audubon Mushrooms Guide app I am hoping to pierce the mystery surrounding the mushrooms and be able to identify the ones we often see while we are camping.

The mobile app highlights each species with stunning photography and extensive descriptions.  You will be able to identify mushrooms and fungi using the advanced search function, with fields including shape, cap shape, cap texture, color, gill stalk attachment, habitat, month, region, size, spore bearing surface, stalk cap attachment and stalk shape.

This comprehensive field guide includes a wealth of reference material on mushrooms including, classification, parts, order, families, how mushrooms reproduce and grow, poisoning and much more.

The first thing I realized was that I could browse by shape, order or name.   But not being knowledgeable in mushrooms, I decided to select the advanced search if you don’t know anything about mushrooms…  This is what I decided to do.  The search facility is well thoughts.  You can search by shape, habitats, regions, colors, sizes, months, cap shapes, cap textures, cap to stalk attachment, and stalk shapes.  For my particular mushroom below, I proceeded to select the color, the month which was May and the region which was Eastern Canada.  The result of this search gave me 33 different mushrooms.


I then proceeded to select the Shape of the mushroom.  From what I have checked in the All About Mushrooms section it looked like these mushrooms were in the polypores and other shelflike mushrooms family.   The All About Mushrooms section will provide accurate information on the classification of mushrooms, parts of a mushroom, how mushrooms reproduce and grow, the various orders, how to hunt/collect and identify mushrooms, cooking and eating mushrooms as well as mushrooms poisoning.  The new result of the search was giving me 7 results;  birch polypore, luminescent panellus, oyster mushroom, ruddy panus, thin-maze flat polypore, turkey-tail as well as the winter polypore.  

I think I have nailed it to two options.  It is either a thin-maze flat polypore or a winter polypore. I wish I had taken the time to check under and look at the stalk and spores.   My gut feeling to bending toward the thin-maze flat polypore though.    Now if you happen to know which type of mushroom this is, please feel free to comment and let me know.  

We have also seen the following mushrooms on a fallen birch tree.  I am still trying to figure out which type of mushrooms they are.  They were quite small compare to the previous mushrooms above.   But if you look closely, you can see moss on some of them.   This makes me think that it could be some mossy maze polypore. 


The app is definitively a great addition for our family as we love to explore our surroundings while we are camping.   I am not quite ready to try eating the wild mushrooms in the forest just yet but with more education on them, it would be interesting to try one of these days. 

photo-5If you are considering using this app to identify mushrooms that you could it, it is better not to use it for this.   There is a specific warning right at the beginning asking you not to do that.  photo-6The creators behind the app do not recommend eating a wild mushrooms unless you have an expert with you due to the severity of identification.  The app does specify which mushrooms are poisonous but this app is NOT meant for identifying mushrooms to eat.  Just because some mushrooms do not have the "poisonous" label does not mean that they are edible or that you have identified them correctly using the app.  I have been told NOT to use this app to identify mushrooms to eat.  Essentially this app is meant as a field guide to identify mushrooms for scientific and observations and NOT for consumption.  If you are interested in determining of a mushroom is good to eat or not there are other apps in the market for that.  Please note that many mushrooms look similar and could easily be misidentified.  The repercussions of ingesting misidentified mushrooms can be life threaten and or deadly.      Be wise.   Take a course to become an expert in identifying which mushrooms in the wild are good to eat. 

The Audubon Mushrooms Mobile Field Guide App is available at the app store for the price of 9.99$.


Disclaimer: I received the app for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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