Learn how to forage for mushrooms at Slabsides

(Photo by Carlos Andrés Reyes)

Barbara Plume, vice president of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association, will lead a group of mushroom-hunters as they forage for the often-unseen mushrooms at the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary (a/k/a Slabsides) in West Park on Saturday, August 25 from 9 to 11 a.m. Neither plant nor animal, fungi include highly-sought-after mushrooms used for cooking, as well as the justifiably feared poisonous ones.

This Slabsides program will begin with the essentials of mushroom foraging, as well as a lesson in the etiquette surrounding the practice. Then Plume will take participants out into the woods, revealing the ideal spots and conditions in which varieties of these fungi thrive. Possible mushroom sightings include hen-of-the-woods and black trumpets.

Space is limited, so register in advance by e-mailing info@johnburroughsassociation.org to learn what to bring and where to meet.

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There will be other special programs offered at Slabsides that day, and the famous cabin will be open for tours from noon until 4 o’clock on Saturday as well. At 1 p.m., Rolland Smith will read his naturalistic poetry that reflects on both his life in broadcast journalism and the more subdued side of nature in the Catskill Mountains. There will be refreshments available. At 1:30 p.m., Paul Misko of the Catskill 4000 Club will lead a walk focused on often-overlooked aspects of Slabsides’ history and the newly acquired Ingersoll property that Burroughs sold to his friend Ernest Ingersoll in 1896.

The John Burroughs Association brings to life the legacy, writing and natural world of literary naturalist John Burroughs. Visit his rustic cabin Slabsides and hike the trails of the John Burroughs Nature Sanctuary located off Floyd Ackert Road in West Park. For more information, visit www.johnburroughsassociation.org.