Cornell University


Goodbye Shiloh

Eulogy for a lost dog

Our guest Tami Mungenast shares the moving story of her dog Shiloh, who died of mushroom poisoning in 2008. Yes, dogs are just as susceptible to poisonous mushrooms as people–in Shiloh’s case a brown Galerina sp. in her yard was the culprit. Warning! Sad.

Coprinus comatus ink

The Dish on Deliquescence in Coprinus Species

Inky caps are mushrooms that’re stately when they first appear, but dissolve into embarrassing black ink upon maturity. Why do they do that, and how? You can actually write in their stinky ink! How do I know the ink stinks? I don’t want to talk about it.


So you want to be a truffle-farmer…? (Part 1)

Truffles are ugly, dirty, stink in a lascivious way, and excite wild desires in humankind and pigs alike. Apparently people will pay just about anything for these lumpish things. Hmm, what if you could grow them? Read on.

spore discharge

The Perfect Pitch

This delightful guest post by Moselio Schaechter and Merry Youle explains the mechanism by which mushrooms discharge their spores. You always wanted to know why mushrooms are associated with dank and humid places–this clever water-assisted mechanism is the explanation.

dog nose

The elusive dog’s nose fungus

An encounter with a fungus that looks like a glistening dog’s nose, except it’s attached to a log and shoots out black spores. It’s rare in my personal experience, but is it really rare? How do we know which fungi are rare? Short answer: we don’t.

Toxic jack o'lantern mushrooms

An adventure with Omphalotus

I was wandering through the Fall woods near Ithaca, New York when I stumbled upon what looked like a delicious surprise… upon closer inspection (and the observations of a trained mycologist), I realized that I had made the amateur mistake of confusing the tasty Chanterelle with the poisonous Jack O’Lantern mushroom Omphalotus illudens

Mushrooms in Samoa

Daisuke Goto – The first to cultivate mushrooms in Samoa

Our correspondent and Cornell grad student visits Samoa, and reports on the state of mushroom cultivation methods in the South Pacific.


Mystery liverwort fungus, chapter 4

The Friday Afternoon Mycology and Molecule Man are closing in on the identity of the liverwort fungus. In this episode we relate the results of PCR, question the eating habits of organ transplant patients, and finish up by chanting the DNA sequences aloud. But where has it gotten us?


Mushroom Fever

People used to think mushrooms sprang up spontaneously after thunderstorms or in response to devilry. We know better now, but there’s still some art in cultivating them. That said, you can probably manage to grow some yourself–maybe in your backyard or woodlot. Guest blogger Ariadne Reynolds reports on the forest farming of mushrooms, and provides some leads in case you’re ready to get started.


Most people don't pay much attention to fungi, which include things like mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews. Here at Cornell we think they're pretty fascinating. In fact, even the most disgusting foot diseases and moldy strawberries are dear to our hearts. We'd like to talk to you about fungi, so that like us, you too can tell gross stories at the dinner table. Afterwards, maybe you'll notice some things you would have overlooked before, and we think this could be good for the planet.

Kathie T. Hodge, Editor

Beneath Notice, our book of borescopic mycology.


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