As this was a joint event with Laharum Landcare group quite a crowd turned up, which was good. The day originally had been planned to have a presentation and some field walks, however with practically no rain since last year fungi are few and far between in the Northern Grampians bush this year, the walks did not proceed. However Geoff Lay the guest speaker was staying with the Pykes and they went hunting in the morning and managed to find a nice collection to display.
Geoff gave a very good presentation describing the different types of fungi, Saprotrophic (living on dead material), Parasitic (living on organisms) and Symbiotic (where there is an association between the fungi and the living organism which benefits both). He also showed what to look for when trying to identify fungi. Fungi are neither plant nor animal and are in a kingdom of their own. The parts of the organism we see and identify are the fruiting bodies which are produced when sufficient moisture and temperature occur, the mycelium which is the bulk of the organism is in the leaf litter, soil, or a dead or living plant not usually detected by us. At the end of Geoff’s presentation a very tasty lunch was served and then some people stayed on for another question and discussion session with Geoff. We would like to thank Wendy McInnes for her organisation and catering for this activity.