Visit The Fungus Among Us

2009 Fair Update:  This year’s 40th Annual Fungus Fair will be held at the Lawrence Hall of Science, in Berkeley (map).  This great event takes place on December 5th-6th, from 10am-5pm on each day.


Just picked up the buzz about the Fungus Fair!

This weekend, the Oakland Museum and Mycological Society of San Francisco are hosting the 39th Annual Fungus Fair.  Local mycologists collect specimens throughout the Bay Area, and this is the “go-to” event to put your hands on some specimens  – and otherwise revel in nature’s oddities.

Take a break from the more mundane, and visit the fungus among us.  The Oakland Museum’s (map) hours are:   Saturday from 10am-6pm; and Sunday from 12pm-5pm.  Daily admission is $8/general and $5/students, and kids under 5 are free.

Annual Fungus Fair

The fair schedule is packed with lectures, demonstrations and even entertainment along with exhibits.  Kids can make mushroom ice cream (ugh), create jewelry, play with clay models and take home a fungus-growing kit.

The lecture line-up also sounds great, covering everything from reproduction to magic medicine.  Various cooking and mushroom-dying demos will take place both days.  For pure entertainment, there’s a topical movie called  Matango: Attack of the Mushroom People.

Fungus Fair 2007

Anyway, it’s worth a quick trip to see the ‘shrooms alone, like Maryjane’s picks from last year.  Some of the specimens look like cousins of what we buy at the farmer’s market, while others seem sort of disgusting to me.  Do you see the “hairy” looking ones above?  Or the one that resembles a cow pie?

I’ll never be a mycologist (!) but love the edibles and look forward to the weekend festivities.  However if you can’t make the Fungus Fair, then pay a virtual visit to MykoWeb – it’s an amazing resource, put together by a former president of San Francisco’s Mycological Society.

Where Are the Montclair Creeks?

The news of 500-year floods in the Midwest was amazing, with Iowan cities submerged from levee breaks.  That’s one catastrophe which won’t visit the Montclair Hills anytime soon.

Yet I became curious about our water flows through the Village.  After all, we experience our own special brand of mudslides, sink holes and floods each rainy season.

Where are the Montclair Creeks?

Our main creeks are partly hidden from view.  They aren’t conforming to Mother Nature’s direction anymore, especially as you drive through sections of Thornhill, Shepherd Canyon, and the Montclair shopping district.

The Temescal and Shepherd Creeks flow into culverts and storm drains, as noted by the dotted red lines below.  Solid blue lines indicate visible streams, such as the Palo Seco until it reaches town.

Typical rainy seasons have caused problems in Shepherd Canyon.  It’s logical that above-average rainfalls would overwhelm the hidden and visible streams, too.

The Oakland Museum of California has full-sized detail of these watershed maps – so you can study exactly where you live among the Montclair (and other Oakland) creeks.

Also take a closer look at the Temescal and Sausal Creek Watersheds, as many tributaries flow from the Montclair Hills into the San Francisco Bay.  Mother Nature still prevails!