Special issue, June 1999
Spring Fungi of the Sierra Nevada Class
by Herman Brown
herman@fungi-zette.com index.html#special



For this special issue, I decided to include pictures and information about the one-week mycology course I had just taken at the Northern Sierra Field Campus of the University of San Francisco, located on Highway 49, just east of Bassets, California.


Click on any picture to see a larger image

Staff Cabins
A view of the staff cabins (and a tent)


Since I started this newsletter, I have corresponded with several mycophiles who have encouraged me to take the Spring Fungi of the Sierra Nevada class: Mike Wood, Fred Stevens, Steve Trudell, and Mike Boom. I think, after seeing me struggle with the identification process, they all felt that I would benefit greatly by taking the class.

I did.

On the way to the campus, I stopped to visit a friend who lives during the summer months in Graeagle, John Langenour. When I told John I planned to take pictures during the class and include them in a special edition of the newsletter, John was very generous in lending me his digital camera, a Sony MVC-FD81.

The camera was set up for 640x480 image sizes, and was kept in the FINE mode. I reduced the image sizes as needed to minimize the time for downloading each page, but I have included links for the larger-sized images.

Unfortunately, I didn't clean the lens very well!

Most of the pictures were taken using John's camera. Thanks again, John.

The Campus

The field campus is located about 1 mile east of Bassets, CA, which is at the south intersection of Highway 49 and the Gold Lake Highway, in the Northern Sierras, at about the 6000-foot level.

Needless to say, it got very COLD at night. The lodging included tent camping, hot showers, and all meals (as long as you paid for them).

Our Tent
Our Tent

Inside the tent
A view from the inside of our tent

The weather during the whole week was nice and clear except for the cold nights, especially on the first night.

The Classroom and the Lab

The class was taught by Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin, Systematic Mycologist, who teaches in the Biology Department at San Francisco State University and has taught this course at the field campus for a total of 6 years. A link to his website at the university is: http://www.cel.sfsu.edu/sierra/faculty.cfm?selection=faculty&facultyid=154055

First Lecture
The first lecture

The Lab
The Lab

First Collection
Our first day collection

First Lab
Our first day in the lab

Fred Keying
Fred Stevens, keying

Chromosera cyanophylla
Chromosera cyanophylla

Discina perlata
Discina perlata

Caloscypha fulgens
Snow Bank Orange Peel fungus (Caloscypha fulgens)

Mature Slime Mold
A Mature Slime Mold

Bird's Nest fungus
A Bird's Nest fungus 
(Nidula niveotomentosa)

Field Trips

Every day, around 11am, we would all go out together with the instructor and visit at least two local mushroom picking sites. We didn't seem to find many mushrooms, but what was missed in quantity, was made up in variety. In total, we identified 148 species, 4 of which were new to the class list.

Chapman Creek Campgound
Chapman Creek Campground

The Sand Pond
The Sand Pond

Yuba Pass
At the top of Yuba Pass

Near Bassets
Somewhere near Bassets

In July, Fred Stevens sent me a message telling me that he had finally identified the following nine jelly fungi that he found during the class:

Arcyria versicolor
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
Comatricha suksdorfii
Diderma niveum
Fuligo sp.
Hemitrichia montana
Lamproderma carestiae
Leocarphus fragilis
Prototrichia metallica

Next page: The Fungus Faire