morchella deliciosa

Welcome to Ralph's

Finest Fungi Fancier File

"There are old mushroom hunters, and
  there are bold mushroom hunters, but
   there are no old, bold mushroom hunters" 

Welcome to our mushroom home page. Attached are pages covering our personal mushroom safety rules, terse reviews of books about mushroom hunting, our family favorites, and some (hopefully recent) foray reports, and some links to other mushroom sites.

While many people up here in Michigan hunt wild mushrooms, most only hunt morels. This tends to limit their local season to the two weeks between sprouting and rotting during the month of May. It causes them to miss out on an incredible array of great flavors and textures.

As amateur hobbyists, my wife and I have developed a list of favorite species, our own rules for trying out new species, and opinions about what makes for preferable and less helpful mushroom texts. Please be patient with us, it's a struggle to get digitized the best of over a thousand otherwise mediocre 35mm slides of mushrooms to better adorn these pages.

Mushroom hunting is a true sport: The fungi DO have an equal chance to win. If we are correct in our identification, at very best we win a tasty side-dish, or an optimally seasoned main course. On the other hand, if we are not correct, we win repeated trips to the head, maybe a trip to the emergency room, and in the extreme, a trip to the morgue.

There is no substitute for study. Most of my three dozen or so texts identify fewer than 500 species. With thousands having been reported in Michigan, it is not at all difficult to find species not listed in any of my books. To identify these requires a true mycologist's knowledge of the technical literature and genus-specific monographs, as well as quite a bit of laboratory equipment.

In my opinion, it is VERY RISKY to rely on:


Counting you, mycophiles have come hunting here.
courtesy of
Kim Anderson
wish to
photos and artwork
© Ralph Czerepinski
last edited: Thursday, 05-Sep-96 22:50:57 EDT