Specimens, Specimens, and More Specimens!

Specimens, Specimens, and More Specimens!

The annual Cain Foray is #Worth-It for the Sort, but it is important to pay close attention to the specimens you collect on the forays. In general, the Mycological Society advises against over-picking fungi which may mean curbing your enthusiasm somewhat and not duplicating specimens (see mushroomer’s code).

At the Cain Foray typically 270+ species of fungi are collected. What’s interesting is that different weather conditions affect what is collected in abundance.

For example:

  • In 2011, it was a great year for parasitism. We were instructed to look for specimens with powdery coatings, or gills that had been aborted by overgrowth of a second fungi species.
  • In 2015, the sorting tables were nearly devoid of Trcholoma, Entoloma and Cortinarius and many of the boletes that were brought back were unidentifiable due to Hypomyces Chrysopermus, a cottony soft ascomycete parasite.
  • Unusually high numbers of bolete species were reported in 2004.
  • Slime molds were big in 2006.
  • Only two specimens of Leotia Stiptiata were found in 1979, at the Dorset location.

What will be in abundance this year? We look forward to finding out at this year’s Cain. See you there!

Cain Foray sorting tables

Supercharge your Cain Foray Experience

Supercharge your Cain Foray Experience

This year the Cain Foray will be based at Lumina Resort on Lake of Bays in Muskoka Ontario.

Lumina has superior accommodations and offers great food. But it also has many amenities — including a pool, bar, waterfront activities, and shuffleboard — and a gigantic room to do our sorting in! These together with the extensive grounds of the resort allow plenty of opportunity for Mycological Society members to #supercharge their Cain experience!

In addition to fun fungi forays, wonderful meals with friends, and exciting guest mycologists who share their expertise, we have special activities planned including:

  • Friday night BBQ dinner and reception
  • Saturday night bonfire
  • Nighttime foray in search of luminescent fungi
  • A fungi cook-up

Lumina Resort

Intro to Mushroom ID Course 2017

Introduction to Mushroom Identification: Gilled Mushrooms

Given by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Chair of the MST Education Committee

This 3 week course will introduce the basics of mushroom identification for gilled mushrooms and is intended for people with some knowledge of mushrooms who would like to learn a more systematic approach to identification. It will focus on field identification based on macroscopic features. Various identification features will be discussed and the main genera will be described and illustrated with examples of specific mushrooms from each genus. Fresh specimens will also be used to illustrate features and practice identification. PLEASE NOTE: This is a general introduction to the identification of gilled mushrooms and does not specifically focus on edible species.

Sorry, all places for the 2017 Introduction to Mushroom Identification course have now been filled. If you wish to be placed on the waiting list, please contact Pat Burchell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The course is available to MST members only and will be limited to 24 participants. Classes will be held at the Toronto Botanical Garden on three evenings from 7:30 to 9:30pm:

  • Tuesday September 12, 2017
  • Tuesday September 19. 2017
  • Tuesday September 26, 2017

Please register by September 1st, 2017. The cost of the course is $30 per person and pre-registration is required. Registration will be checked at the door. 

MST Members are able to register on this page. Not seeing the registration form? Sign in with your MST username and password and return to the page. If you can't remember your password, just click the "Forgot your password" link under the Login menu, enter your email address, and we'll send you a link so that you can reset your password. 

#Worth-it for the Sort

#Worth-it for the Sort

This year at the Cain we'll be having special table tours to help orient and excite new and old MST members alike!

Harry Potter had the sorting hat… but mycologists of the Mycological Society of Toronto are all about the sorting table! If you get excited about the sorting table at one of our regular weekend forays you will be blown away by the tables at the Cain! It's #Worth-it for the sort.

200+ mushroom species in a weekend requires supersizing the sorting area - from a single folding table to an entire room!

The task of classifying fungi at the Cain is made easier by the green and white coloured signs that are placed on the tables denoting Class and Genus… You'll receive a list "Sorting Groups for Mushroom Species" in your orientation package… this will help you identify fungi from Amanita to Xylaria!

Seeing fungi all laid out on the sorting tables so that you can look at the specimens in real life, knowing what they are — is a great way to become more comfortable with your own identifications.

Registration is open for this year's Cain.

Cain Foray mushroom sorting tables

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