Author Archives: paul sadowski

Beginning Microscopy for the Amateur Mycologist (Naturalist)

On two Saturdays, March 25 and April 8 from 10AM to 2 PM, Paul Sadowski will be leading two classes in Beginning Microscopy for the Amateur Mycologist (Naturalist) at the New York Botanical Garden. This class is being presented under the auspices of the NYMS and will be open to 20 NYMS members.

The objective of the class is to introduce the student to the microscope as a tool in mushroom identification. Like our Monday Night Identification sessions the meeting is collaborative under the guidance of the group leader.

First session: hardware, introduction to the compound microscope, calibration of  the eyepiece reticle, illuminating the specimen, care and feeding of slides, cover slips, mounting fluid, reagents, dyes, razor blades and miscellania. A first look at slime molds. Mushroom dissection, spores and gills under the objective and their use in keys and the literature.

Second session: working with dried material, a look at cystidia and basidia. A good look at Largent’s book on microscopic analysis in mushroom identification. Observation of ascomycetes and polypores.

The NYBG classroom is fitted with compound and dissecting microscopes. Their compound microscopes offer observations up to 400x. We will have at least a couple of microscopes offering 1000x magnification under oil.

There will be an introductory text provided but this will be a cursory set of photocopied material. One is encouraged to purchase Identifying Mushrooms to Genus III: Microscopic Features by David Largent (Mad River Press).

The Society will make bulk purchases of microscopy tools, supplies and literature.

The cost of the class is around $90.00 which includes the course time, books, and supplies. Students are encouraged to bring their own microscopes.

We hope that each student will attend both sessions, as the course is conceived as a whole.

Please contact Paul Sadowski for further information and to indicate interest in attending these sessions

Save the dates for NEMF 2017

The New York Mycological Society, Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association, Mid-Hudson Mycological Association and Long Island Mycological Club are hosting the 2017 NEMF Samuel Ristich Foray at the Stratton Mountain Resort in southern Vermont July 27-30, 2017.

Gary Lincoff, Faculty Chair is assembling a group of local experts in the principal genera that we are likely to encounter during the foray as well as some genera we may not encounter. There will be a microscopy lab available during the entire foray for participants to hone their microscope skills or to assay their collections.

Frank Marra, Walks Chair, has put together over a dozen interesting collecting venues for us to explore. No site is more than a half-hour’s drive from the Resort on Stratton Mountain. The NYMS has visited this area every year since its rebirth in 1962, so there is a deep experience in these woods. We will even have access to the top of Stratton Mountain via a lift line!

Our accommodations will be located in three lodges located in a resort village located about halfway up Stratton. All lectures, exhibitions, vendors, evening programs, socials and lunch & dinner meals will be found in one building, the Base Lodge, from where the lift goes up Stratton.

Black Bear, Lift Line & Long Trail Lodges will provide double occupancy accommodations and a continental breakfast. Black Bear and Long Trail Lodges are air conditioned, While Lift Line Lodge is not air conditioned, our experience in Vermont is that early summer  may bring hot days but the elevation provides cool relief at night. The accommodations in Lift Line will provide an economical sleeping option.

Eagle Hill Announces 2017 Mycology Weekend Workshops


May 21 – 27

Crustose Lichens of the Acadian Forest

Stephen Claydon

June 4 – 10

Undergraduate Field Studies:
Introduction to Bryophytes and Lichens

Fred Olday

July 2 – 8

Lichens & Lichen Ecology

David Richardson and Mark Seaward

July 16 – 22

Boletes and Other Fungi of New England

Alan and Arleen Bessette

July 23 – 29

Lichens Biofilms and Stone

Judy  Jacob  and Michaela Schmull

July 30 – August 5

Mushroom Identification for New Mycophiles:
Foraging for Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms

Greg Marley and Michaeline Mulvey

August 6 – 12

Independent Studies: Interesting and Challenging
Saxicolous Lichens of North America

Alan Fryday

For complete information including tuition, seminar descriptions, and on-campus accommodations visit their website at:


Acute Toxicity of Phalloidins

[Editor’s Note: Debbie Viiess is an Amanita expert from northern California]

Acute Toxicity of Phalloidins: Amatoxin’s Silent Partner

Debbie Viess “amanitarita”

Amanita_phalloides_01Most of us know about amatoxins and deadly amanita poisonings: a terrible way to die and not much fun even if you survive, but you have to actually EAT phalloides to be poisoned by amatoxins. What most people don’t know is that the deadly amanitas also contain an even more potent and deadly toxin: phalloidin. Continue reading