An adventure through the city owned poisonous mushroom fields of South Surrey.
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Every Fall I like to go for at least one stroll through the Sunnyside Urban Forest to check on the current year’s crop of interesting mushrooms. This year I took my latest equipment with me to try a few new image techniques. I was using the new 105mm VR macro lens and two flash units. The day we chose – Oct. 5 – was perhaps a few days early for the best view of the crop but we were able to locate several interesting collections of fungus choices.
On this trip I took my youngest son, Ethan, along to help with the second flash unit. I was hoping to try several different positions of the flash to highlight differing aspects of the mushroom clusters. It was definitely a fun experience trying the different angles and I soon found that I had definite preferences. The stroll started from the main parking area in the urban forest and proceeded along the western section of the main loop trail and back. I have found that the rest of the loop typically had very few clusters compared to this portion and so I skipped it for this subject selection.
Our safari started out quite uncertain as the first section we walked had very few clusters and some of the areas which had lovely patches in prior years were pulled apart and would not likely have anything to see this year. But we eventually got to see a number of interesting specimens. I do love the variety of the mushrooms one can find along a short trail this time of year. Though there are large numbers of a few types there are some for which there seem to be only a single cluster in the whole forest. This year I stayed on the main trail so all of these images could be seen by any of the people walking the path though some were slightly hidden. I wonder how many actually do notice them. I was also quite surprised that people leave them alone and not damage them, though a few had been uprooted, most likely accidentally or by one of the many dogs that frequent the trail.
The sad part of the trip was that I only got out once this year, I have found that waiting just a few days can bring to life a whole different set of clusters with very different images and it is worth a second or even third visit. I do plan to be back again in 2007 to see how the new crop looks and see if I can’t find some new type of mushroom to add to my image collection.