After an amazing string of good luck with events, the weather finally caught up to us and forced this fungal adventure indoors. Driving winds and constant rain made the prospect of 4 hours in the bush an uninviting proposal, event for the most intrepid of mycology enthusiasts. Instead, we were treated to comfy chairs, gas heating and hot tea at the Strathbogie Hall; a sacrifice everyone was seemingly willing to make.
We were honoured to have not one, but two fantastic speakers for the day. Alison Pouliot, our resident fungi expert and fungi photographer, was able to scratch together a dazzling array of fungi at short notice. Our other expert speaker Walter Jehne, a soil microbiologist and climate scientist has spent year digging deep into ways to improve our natural environment through soil health.
Alison and Walter spoke about the interconnectedness of plants and fungi. They touched on the relationship between different fungi species. Some help and feed each other, while others wage a secret and silent fungi wars beneath our feet. Some pray on and eat small worms called nematodes. Some out compete other species. The more we listened and learnt, the stranger and more complex the world of fungi became.
Lunch was served, then the group was treated to a Q&A with Alison and Walter. Delving deep into soil carbon and physics, local fungi species, bushfire prevention, government policy and more.
A brave few ventured out to Mt Wombat to find a few fresh examples of fungi with Alison and Walter, rounding off a fascinating day.
Thanks to all of those who attended, the SRCMN committee for their time and effort organising the event, to Alison and Walter for sharing their knowledge, to A3 catering for the delicious food, and to Stephen Curtain from Regenerate Earth for filming the event.