Friday 7 June 2024

Where Did BushCampingTools Get his mushroom picking skills from? Or rather WHO did he get them from?

Where Did BushCampingTools Get his mushroom picking skills from? Or rather WHO did he get them from?

I was asked by a long term subscriber (@willieboy3011) how did I acquire my mushroom hunting skills?,

Super delicious wild oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus-There are many wild types-only for the experienced mushroom pickers! Here seen growing on a dead log of wild cherry.

and I thought, well maybe this might be of interest to many here. So here I go...........

Hi. I guess my interests started at university as an undergrad originally in Agriculture science and we had to do microbiology but even then I grew up in a family where picking mushrooms was strictly forbidden, blackberries, mulberries etc. all ok, probably like you! 

 Then many, many years later I made friends with some Polish students in Australia and the Poles have a rich culture of mushroom picking. So, they taught me and my friends, which mushrooms
                                The super delicious Hedgehog mushroom
                                (Hydnum repandrum)
were safe to pick and how to prepare them. 
   The "Penny Bun" Boletus edulis a prized Boletus species

 We are sort of lucky in Oz because many of the pine trees and deciduous trees originally imported from either Europe or the US had the fungi growing on their roots and this just spread wherever, these trees were planted. While the selection is not as great for edibles as in the US or Europe it's not too bad. Of course, we also got the poisonous species as well! 

 Later I lived overseas after having switched vocations from Agriculture to Neuroscience (LOL of course not without having to go back to uni again LOL). I shared a house with a French (and scientist colleague) guy who was/is (I believe from other friends who are still in contact with him) very crazy about picking mushrooms 
The Parasol Mushroom Macrolepiota procera

and the French too are right into this sort of thing.
The most delicious Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) readied for cooking!

       Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)

So we had lots of excursions picking all sorts of mushrooms plus ones I had never picked before with my Polish friends. 
                                  Parasol mushrooms (Atypical habit)

Super hard to find and super delicious Yanagi matsutake mushrooms, seen here growing on black poplar in Europe. (we found over 5kg of them!)
Agrocybe aegerita.

Why not combine fishing with wild mushroom picking!  Field Puff balls (Calvatia gigantea) shown here are juvenile fruiting bodies.

St George's Mushroom, (Calocybe gambosa) super delicious! NOTE!!  Only for the most experienced mushroom pickers!

Then one day, hot and somewhat tired after our usual weekend mountain biking craziness, returning home (the Frenchman’s place) and trying to relax, I hear some disturbing commotion going on outside of our house. I looked out the front door and noticed some thugs from across the street were threatening the neighbour and jumping on the bonnet of her Mercedes. That was enough to boil my blood. Suffice it to say I had a little word (maybe with a few physical gestures LOL) with them and they decided the smart thing to do was to retreat immediately. (mind you, they never once turned their backs to me and the same for me). I went back inside and a few minutes later there came a knock on the door and it was the woman from next door who had come to thank me for getting rid of these punks. That neighbour, who is Russian, then invited me in to thank me and, well the rest is history from her because she then started to join all of us from this uni I was working at, along with the Frenchman and every other student of mine (and his), fellow scientists and mountain biking friends (it was becoming addictive for all of us!). I almost had an entire lab going from work picking mushrooms LOL! 

                                  Fairy ring Champignon Marasmius oreades

                                  Fairy ring Champignon Marasmius oreades

 Now the Russians too have a rich culture and one of their things to do is to pick wild mushrooms. So once again we all learnt about different mushrooms and how to prepare them form her. The Australian, Polish, French and Russian connection had formed! (wasn’t it funny no one was at each other’s throats-sorry couldn’t help that political jab-ok let’s keep it a-political).

Many years passed and I married a European and her culture is also one of fishing hunting and mushroom picking,
The seasonal (occurring right now in the Northern hemisphere) St George's Mushroom
although I was already into hunting and fishing long ago in Australia, first rifle then later bow hunting became the passion. 

About to prepare fresh Field mushrooms Agaricus campestris and the parasol mushroom, Macro lepiota Procera.

 So you see, there has been a common theme of picking mushrooms throughout my adventures from student days to professional career around the globe.

 In summary,   It may seem like a long winded way of learning about picking mushrooms but the good thing is that I gained a lot of great knowledge from very experienced people and saw things from different perspectives and how the same mushrooms grow across both hemispheres under different environment conditions and learnt much about 

how to prepare them 
            Dried parasol Mushrooms
and how to preserve them for long periods of time.

A note about using books to identify which mushrooms are safe to eat. Of course, I have abbreviated much from the above anecdotal stories especially in regards to actual identification techniques. In order to reliably (and you simply cannot make a mistake) identify mushrooms you must first understand their morphology and maybe not all but a lot of their taxonomy. Plus even a little microscopy won't go astray! I know the latter may seem daunting however, this is one of the best ways to help you NOT become poisoned by making a mistake.
                      The poisonous "Yellow Stainer" Agaricus xanthodermus

An unidentified Australia species of gilled fungi growing in dry bushland on the east coast of Australia

 We often read in books about picking wild mushrooms, there is a “poisonous cousin”, in other words, similar looking mushrooms which are not edible. In truth as one learns to properly distinguish between various mushrooms, these supposed “poisonous cousins” 
A "poisonous cousin" OR is it? Boletus calopus -poisonous but not deadly! 

 could only be selected by someone who is clearly walking around with closed eyes, ie being careless and or stupid and we all know, combining the elements careless and stupidity generally give an undesirable end products. NOW, I would NEVER recommend any book no matter how good it is, to use it solely to identify 
Macrolepiota procera, the Parasol Mushroom

an edible mushroom, however good books are extremely useful (like on ANY subject matter). IMHO The best way to learn is from friends (or some foraging group with experienced pickers) from which it is in their culture to pick mushrooms and who have never been poisoned 

or have been and are alive LOL, OR from some other expert (you will probably of course pay for the latter). Finally, I find them fascinating just to photograph (as you might have guessed LOL from pictures I sometime post to FB and Instagram.

Note for those who want to see the world's deadliest mushroom then check out some old videos of mine on my FB page and there you will see Amanita phalloides, one bite and you WILL DIE. The poison can not be cooked from it. Phalloidin (that's the toxin) is very very deadly, as apposed to just deadly LOL)


Sunday 19 May 2024

What to look for when buying a gun cleaning kit.

 What to Look for in a Gun Cleaning Kit

It's really simple: You need to look for  an even construction on any type of brush which may be included within any kit, and it goes without saying, brass insertion rods (certainly NOT steel!). Any swaging should be done in either a softer brass or aluminium. 

Rotate the rods to see that the brushes move in a circular fashion and do not wobble. Wobbling indicates that either the brush heads or the rod/s themselves are not straight. Whilst this may seem like a big deal, it can make full insertion and removal from the barrel a big pain.

As the image below indicates, an even spiral brush construction should work the best with the capacity for the entire rod to able to rotate when either inserted or withdrawn from the barrel. As such there should be free movement of the main rod even when pressure is applied either during insertion or removal from the barrel. So look for good movement here.

The above brush (0.22 cal) is from Borekare. Not the evenness of the phosphor bronze wire spiral and that the brush construction is made from aluminium. Both of these materials are way softer than that of the barrel and thus will not cause any damage to your barrel. The image was taken at high magnification (X4 plus) and you can clearly see that only the tips of the wires are coated in barrel contaminating materials. Also note there is no distortion to the actual wires, this is important because these alloys must have good elasticity in order to last and tolerate many insertions and removals from the barrel.

See the results below!

This what I used:

 You can find their products Borekare

Friday 10 May 2024

Boreal Drom Boots Top Dollar

 Ok what happened about those Boreal DROM boots I bought???

Still 100% waterproof, one year later, still just as good, up to 10km per day over a year, so like 3600Km plus. Yep I'm damn satisfied by them for sure and def recommend them.

Yep that's me still wearing them every day for the last year!

Please Check my reviews


Thursday 9 May 2024

2 new Versions of the Caimano Nero are now available!

 2 new Versions of the Extrema Ratio Caimano Nero are now available!

Check out the new versions of the Caimano Nero liner locking folder with a safety lock

Saturday 27 April 2024

What to look for when buying a Rifle Scope

 What to look for when buying a Rifle Scope

(Above image for illustration only)

Here's what to look for when you make your first purchase of a rifle scope, and it's not just the price. 

The key thing here is Do Not Be Suckered By Marketing Hype

Rifle scopes can easily amount to a much greater cost than a decent rifle but what should you be looking for?

Just quickly here is a list of things I look for but not limited to:

Eye relief distance (can only really be ascertained by "try before you buy" in a physical shop).

Ease of use of Windage and Elevation adjustments.

Now let's see the full lost of things Check this guys video out

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Bore Kare Gun Cleaning Kit

 Bore Kare Gun Cleaning Kit

Let's start with a quick overview of what's in this kit.

Check it out

The big brushes

are for the chambers-my kit 30 cal and 22 cal but it can be customised when ordering. Impossible to damage your barrel as the rods are brass, the brushes are phosphor bronze and the wire holding the brushes together is made from aluminium along with an aluminium swaged and tapped adapter that screws into the brass rods. 

The brass rods screw perfectly together and the handle rotates freely. I found the combination of the phosphor bronze brush (for 0.22Cal) and the cotton brush cleaned my barrels of my PCP airguns perfectly!

The Bore Kare  gun cleaning kit also contains 2 very useful plastic tools which can help remove O-rings from PCP's

without damaging O-ring seating surfaces, since they are not made from metal. BoreKare say though that they are more intended fro removing gunk from within the firearm but of course be used for other purposes such as removing O-rings. I know from working with high vacuum systems for over ten years that it's foolish to remove or replace O-rings with metal picks etc as there is always a chance to damage either the O-ring or the O-ring seating surface.

The kit also includes a JAG tip so you can use your own swabs as well!

The Kit is very affordable, the brush materials did not fall apart, and the rods and other components were well made. 

Video showing the results of just using two brushes and zero cleaning fluids coming soon this Friday!