SAVE THE DATE: On Saturday, May 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., rain or shine, walk The Quarry Farm Nature Preserve with naturalist Tamara Spillis and learn more about native mushrooms and wild plants.
– Registration: Open to the first 20 applicants (age 16 and over). Call 419-384-7195 or 419-234-4620 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before April 30 to register.
– Workshop Fee: $15 (includes lunch)
(Optional) Bring a favorite field guide, notebook, pencil, cameras, trail snacks.
• If you are allergic to penicillin, you should not eat morel mushrooms, no matter how delectable. Morels contain a substance also found in penicillin that accumulates in body tissues and can eventually cause anaphylactic shock.
• Oil lamps containing mushroom wicks may have lighted the world for ancient peoples.
• Genghis Khan made gun powder out of charred shelf mushrooms.
These are a few of the fascinating mushroom facts shared by naturalist Tamara Spillis during a recent slide presentation to The Gathering Basket Herb Society.
On Saturday, May 2, Tamara will share her extensive knowledge with 20 lucky people as we walk The Quarry Farm nature trails and prairie. We will have the opportunity to explore with Tammy as she identifies and talks about the mushrooms, flowers, and plants along the way, and if you have brought your camera, you can get some great photos.
Some wildflowers that we know about, like wood violets, blood root, and Jack-in-the-pulpit should be blooming on May 2, but the Quarry Farm staff are excited about the prospect of discovering other species that we haven’t yet identified. When Tamara is finished surveying plant life here, we will have a great educational resource to share with visitors of all ages in the future.
Keep an eye on the weather forecast and come prepared for conditions. No matter what, we will have a great day on the trail.
Tamara works part-time as Master Gardener Coordinator in Henry County (Ohio). In addition, she is a small business owner who manages a naturalist service, working with private landowners and conservation entities to identify and document populations of wildflower and wildlife species.
She also teaches and lectures at museums and colleges on Native American bone and stone tool use. An amateur mycologist, she has published articles on the use of mushrooms by diverse ancient and modern cultures for fire, warfare, and medicine.
Color photos that Tamara has taken in the field showed insects feeding on and pollinating wildflowers, plants in the various stages of their life cycles, easily confused plants with similar flowers — one edible and the other deadly, mutually supportive plant and insect relationships, common wild plants that are edible and others that are toxic, plants that we live alongside of but rarely see in our everyday lives, and many other insights into the natural world of the fields and woods around us.