Profiles of Northwest Fungi presents a composite of mushrooms previously described as ‘Mushrooms of the Month’ in the newsletter of the Northwest Mushroomers’ Association, based in Bellingham, Washington. It is the only guide that has colored photos of look-alikes accompanying each featured mushroom. Near the end of the book there is an Index of the Fungi and an Index of the People. This latter feature mentions all those who either found the collections described or helped in other ways besides being mentioned from scientific journals. A plethora of ink sketches of fungi by local artist Dan Digerness fill in the empty spots between species descriptions.
For beginning mushroomers, this guide can be intimidating since so much information is packed into each description. However, a pleasing narrative style can ease you over the technical rough spots. And for easy referencing, each mushroom story has its own bibliography. The author also maintains a herbarium so most of the specimens can be sent forth for sequencing or morphological verification by experts upon request.
Following the descriptions of the featured mushrooms there is a section called ‘The Fungi Less Known’. These are rare or seldom seen fungi the author has encountered over the years. Below each photo there is a small paragraph pertaining to each, some of which are almost certainly new species. This is followed by the April Fool’s Mushrooms. These are a handful of fictionalized mushrooms that our newsletter published on April Fool’s days.
Some of the names and places are real, but the stories are not.
With the inclusion of DNA sequencing results becoming required for each new species published, the field of mycology has become far more technical, separating itself from the Common Man even more. There is a different set of skills involved and a whole new language of terms. This guide offers a more populist approach without denigrating the academic contributions. There should be room for both the reportage of outstanding mycology and a pleasing writing style to accompany it.
Buck McAdoo Biography
Buck McAdoo, born in 1943, resides in Bellingham, Washington. After his initiation into coastal fungi in the San Francisco bay area in 1980, he moved to the Pacific Northwest where he became a charter member of the Northwest Mushroomer’s Association based in Bellingham. After editing their newsletter for a number of years, he joined the Pacific Northwest Key Council where he was assigned to work on a key to the Collybioid fungi.
In the past he has contributed articles to the national publication, Mushroom the Journal. He is a current member of the North American Mycological Association and has signed up for the Mycoflora Project whose aim is to record and catalogue fungi from across North America.
Although his main focus has been on northwest fungi, he has forayed or collected in France, Scotland, England, Spain, Greece, Tibet, Colombia, Switzerland, and Belize.
Buck has done something no other mushroom guide writer has managed: to present an in-depth look at many significant mushrooms, their morphology and microscopic features, their ecology and global distribution, associated species and look-alikes, and very much placing these mushrooms in the context of their environment.
So often mushroom guides deal with the mushrooms as trophies or as we call it, morgue photos of truncated, extracted, exhumed, and or sliced longitudinally. Buck emphasizes the relationship between the mushroom and its surroundings, the nearby trees and moss, the timing and condition of the collections, and the myriad of organisms that depend on either the mushroom or the fungus for survival.
Each entry represents one of the Mushrooms of the Month featured by a Mycological Society Newsletter over a span of some years, and is diligently researched with bibliographies for each one, and a summary of the Latin nomenclature that each mushroom must carry with it in human discussions. At least 60 species are the subject of this in-depth treatment, and dozens of species are addressed as look-alikes, or in the section titled, The Fungi Less Known. And finally, this is the first (but then again….) mushroom guide with satirical entries, under the April Fool Mushrooms like Climacodon edificialis, which bears a curious resemblance to insulating foam.
In the final analysis, this will be one of your favorite mushroom books to crawl into whenever you need Deep Background on one of the featured fungi. Lamentably, large swaths of the fungal kingdom go un-examined, but when dealing with such an immense subject it is inevitable. Instead, Profiles is a new way to look at some common and uncommon species in relation to what they are, what they eat, and how they live.
Roger and Nicky Phillips – London
What a joy to return home and find your Amazing book waiting for me.
You must be very proud, after all those years of study and deep thought. It is an amazing book; giving a totally new look and judgment of the fungi of the North West.
It is the culmination of so many thoughts and ideas and is an immensely valuable document. The cover is like opening a door onto a new world. Congratulations, congratulations.
Thank you! My girlfriend purchased the book and we love it! It is certainly unique with several pages for each species including potential lookalike photos. As an adventurous mycophagist I really appreciate the reviews of edibility of less commonly eaten species including some flavor and and texture descriptions!
BUCK McADOO’S BOOK ON PACIFIC NORTHWEST FUNGI
I have just received Buck McAdoo’s book “Profiles of Northwest Fungi.” The author confessed to having the Attention Deficit Syndrome. This is a common malady among people interested in mushrooms and many mycologists will love this book. Buck talks about fungi and stresses the most interesting characters, or gives some related or unrelated short stories about the particular species.
He avoids all the boring descriptions, and he does not provide any identification keys. However, after each several pages, he gives a literature listing of references that he uses or would use to identify fungi from that particular section. Wow, what a nice feature, to give the reader a guide to identification and to the further study!
Buck’s species blocks are arranged alphabetically by the principal species. You even won’t realize that ascomycetes are sprinkled among basidiomycetes.
I have some doubts that the last two sections, “The Fungi Less Known” and “April Fool Mushrooms,” belong to this book. The latter definitely not! “The Fungi Less Known” should have cited voucher herbarium specimens and herbaria where the specimens are deposited.
The cover of Buck McAdoo’s new book with a photo of a gnarly, weathered Helvella vespertina, clues us in that this is not our traditional mushroom guide. In this hefty volume Buck provides an in depth look into over 90 fungal species, with hundreds of photos and an entertaining scientific approach to each one. But most importantly, we get a peek at Buck’s enthusiastic interactions with those who found the fungi, the mycologists he consulted and the resources he used to get the full story.
Buck began writing “Mushroom of the Month” for his local mycological society’s newsletter in 1989. Before personal computers were common, he had color photos printed of that month’s mushroom that were then taped into each newsletter. Over the years he produced a wealth of articles that tell the story of how the mushroom was found, a technical description of its features, edibility, look-alikes and the fascinating, often complicated, history of its nomenclature.
The book features an expanse of genera from the familiar edibles to bizarre, rarely seen finds. Buck sprinkles drawings, recipes, medicinal uses and wry insights throughout the book. For those who appreciate having fun with a sometimes dry subject reading, there is a small collection of his April Fools Mushroom of the Months at the back of the book.
Profiles of Northwest Fungi will provide hours of educational and entertaining reading for those familiar with basic mushroom identification. You will learn about Louise Bird’s wife who let a large polypore encompass her gladiolas for 5 years, the arrival of Death Caps in Bellingham, WA and the fungus that threatened Buck’s beloved wooden boat. Buck is a talented writer and exceptional amateur mycologist. He presents a one of a kind hybrid of mycological field guides and natural history writings that inspire our own adventures into the world of mycology.
The price is so good! Ordered 2, and thinking about gifts!!!
Congratulations Buck!!!!! I remember meeting you in Dr. Fred Rhoades mycology class back in 1981… your brilliance and passion was evident then, and now. I am sure that the book is incredible! Ordering it right now!
30 year war now 40 year book. CONGRATS in a big way ! Not sure I will understand evrything but admire the high quality color separation photography. No doubt about it: FUNGi are Magical !
Congratulations Buck! I just put in my order, can’t wait to get my hands on it. I hope to do some more hunting soon, here in Michigan’s UP. I hope to meet again someday! Wishing you all the best.
I have been reading it every day the last week! Very enjoyable read, well portioned, species by species, it is giving me profound insights! So rich in information regarding taxonomy, taxonomic history, similar mushrooms and regarding edibility. Very profoundly researched and Buck McAdoo’s heart and mind deeply penetrated by all kinds of mycelia is shining through all of it!
So excited about your book. It’s so beautiful!!!!!
What fun to find this on the doorstep! Reading this is like finding new gossip about my old fungal friends.
July 16 at 1:43 PM ·
I am waiting for my copy. I saw most of what is in it in Buck’s notebooks he’s been hauling around for years, and have been waiting for a long time.
My Peace Corps friend & mentor, Buck McAdoo has just published his new book “Profiles of Northwest Fungi” At 576 pages including 646 colored images, it’s an indispensable reference for both amateur and professIonal mushroom hunters.
Mark D Johnson
Mine just arrived! It is awesome Buck!
Buck, besides the great mushroom info, it’s fun to read NMA club history!
Congratulations! Thanks a lot for my book I got Today in Europe/ Serbia.I was surprised and exciting as a boy of 10…..Enjoy reading first 100 pages /Ma favorites Amanita genera…BEST REGARDS
The kids have been pouring over it during breakfasts. They remind one another where they’ve seen the familiars.
They think Buck must be some sort of avatar to be “so into the mushrooms, how does he have time for anything else?”
Mara Heffron Browndorf
Will have my copy Saturday…looks amazing and what a tribute to your love of mushrooms all these years. You were always the best writer too! ❤️
We just got our copy today and it looks real good.
Buck, I ordered another book and it came today … Peggy will be so excited !!
Shroom love! My family grew up going mushroom picking every year too. For me it’s a part of my russian culture.
I grew up wandering around the woods with my dad looking for strange mushrooms, and now you can experience the weirdness too! My dad finished his mycology book! It’s the only mushroom guide that shows you mushrooms that look like the one you’re trying to identify, which makes identifying much easier. And each mushroom has a story attached to it about how it was found, or a bit of it’s history in the region, and sometimes a recipe! I spent two years designing the page layout and cover with my friend Rose Alyea. If you want to go find your own food in nature, or just learn more about mycology, order a copy!
Suzanne Marie Vawter
Buck McAdoo’s book ‘Profiles of Pacific Northwest Fungi’ is informative, beautiful, creative, clever and funny…. just like the author. I’m so excited for it to get published. 20 + years in the making…after reading just a few sections, I have full confidence it will be a huge hit.
Suzanne Marie Vawter
What a fun and informative book. Buck is an excellent writer. I’ve never laughed so hard reading a book with so many scientific words. It’s a hilarious look into mushrooms and the people who are captivated by them.
Stefania Marie Bassi
I have waited for this release for over a decade. So excited. Way to go Buck McAdoo
Looking forward to seeing this book!