Mushroom enthusiasts may choose from a variety of mushroom magazines. Some cater to the science-minded, some to the novice. Some combine a nice blend. Some magazines have been around a long time, some are new. Some are published and delivered promptly on schedule, some keep a person guessing.
But what is the real measure of a mushroom publication? Should it have lots of color photos? Should the articles be well written as well as diverse? Should the magazine appeal to a wide range of readers-from amateur mushroomers to professional mycologists? These are certainly factors to consider, but the true test of a mushroom magazine is how well it survives when left out in the rain.
Last year, in 2008, members of the Colorado Mycological Society held their first Mycoblitz in Rocky Mountain National Park. To support that event, Britt Bunyard, Editor of the magazine FUNGI, sent complimentary copies of his publication for field testing. A few of these copies ended up in folks' cars, probably to travel back home to be read later. Others stayed in the identification area to be passed around or to languish quietly on a table. One copy, however, we put to the test. It endured all the campsite tasks one would expect of fine reading material.
FUNGI: Volume 1 No. 2: Summer 2008. You can still read this information on the front cover, even though our campsite copy served as a cutting board, pot holder, placemat, handy surface for impromptu spore prints. It also served to sop up occasional spills of wine, tequila, and the Mycoblitz favorite: Mojitos. Then came the real test. FUNGI Volume 1 Number 2 lay uncomplainingly in the rain for a dozen or more showers while we drove around Rocky Mountain National Park searching for--fungi.
The last folks to leave the campsite (the small contingent from New Mexico) took pity on the poor vegetable-stained, spore-printed, waterlogged magazine, and decided to take it home. We thought, however, that it should ultimately return to its origin, to its creator Britt Bunyard. A year later, during the 2009 NMMS Foray in Taos, NM, Rob Hallock, last year's CMS President and Mycoblitz organizer, returned to Britt Bunyard the Official 2008 Colorado Mycoblitz Campsite Copy of FUNGI Magazine.
Britt gratefully accepted the 2008 Campsite Copy and provided a new copy for this year's Mycoblitz: Volume 2 No.2 2009. We're certain that it, too, will stand the test.
Article & photos submitted on 2009-09-09 for publication in Spores Afield.
dmw . 2009-09-09