Adventures after Dark

Adorable little bee! Breathtaking picture!

Nature's Place

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Because of advancing age and early injury that result in the slow breakdown of the body, I make compensations or compromises to go on doing what I most enjoy as far as practical application of my skills, character and predisposition are concerned.

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So, in the cool of the night, rather than the heat of the day, I have been making the best of what I know of the wildlife hear-abouts – capturing them while they sleep or are otherwise less cognisant of me and my approach for a shot.

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Since finding them and learning of their roosting and sleeping habits a few years ago bee’s have been my favourite creature to image, especially at the dawn or dusk when the temperature is best for taking some time for getting the composition right – for my taste – especially the now little seen Leaf-Cutter bee.

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I am long past chasing them…

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Would you care for some tea? How about infused spa water?

I want to welcome you to a new series of posts I will be writing weekly.  I have a new thirst for infused waters and home made ice teas with an extra little je ne sais quoi.

I had purchased a Cool Waters by Brian Preston – Campbel, about a year ago and have definitely admired the lovely pictures.  I have yet to make anything from it!  Hopefully these posts will encourage me to try them out and review them for you, because they look absolutely delicious and healthy!



Composting 101. What goes in? What stays out?

These bee pictures are absolutely gorgeous! It makes me want that macro camera lens even more! Can’t wait to sit out in the sun and watch the bees drink nectar and pollinate in my roof top garden!

Nature's Place

P1070835 - Mark Berkery

Anyone who has been following my posts on this site will know I have worked at making the garden a place for the little ones to visit, maybe even stay and nest. You will know the endeavour has been somewhat successful, weather permitting.

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The other day I went about clearing away a years fallen palm leaves and on the way got to see places I don’t usually go. At one of those places, coming to dusk, I came upon a band of bees hovering, landing, taking of and doing it over and over – as BBB’s (and others) do.

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So I sat and watched a while and – it came to pass – the place is a nest of males, where they rest out the night. I had seen females looking for suitable nest sites during the day. I have only so far seen this roosting behaviour in the fields…

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Coachella “Bloom” Video

39th Annual Santa Cruz Fungus Fair

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I have been planning on going to Santa Cruz Fungus Fair for 2 years.  I heard about it through my Orchid Whisperer friend Bob Shimmon and then later from Renee  Barone, whom I had met at Ridge Winery a couple years ago.  Finally I went and was blown away!  Admission was only $10.   I’m even considering joining the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz now ($25 for first year for an entire household!) to start foraging with experienced foragers.  Check out their upcoming forays and events.  They seem like a jolly group of people who love to eat well and drink well!

Here are some of the local vendors I got to meet:

Mushroom Adventures

Just add water!

These folks sell plugs and mushroom kits that you can use to grow mushrooms indoors or outdoors.  The prices were extremely reasonable!  You can order their kits!  They currently carry: White Button, Portabella, Crimini, Oyster, and Elm mushroom kits.

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These cute mushroom kits were only $5.  My friend Marina picked one up!  They are super cute and look delicious!

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Far West Fungi

Far West Fungi, carries all sorts of goodies!  They are based in Moss Landing and they have a shop in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.  They have mini mushroom growing kits (Shiitake and Tree Oyster).  They’ve got a smorgousboard of truffle products, from truffle tapenade, pasta, honey and salt!  They’ve got a huge selection of dried mushrooms too: Candy Cap, Black trumpet, Morels, Wild Forest Blend, Matsutake, Chanterelles, Domestic Porcini, European Porcini, Organic Shiitake, Organic Reishi, and Winter Chanterelle.

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Porcini spagetti!

Mushroom mini farm in a box

Here is Far West Fungi’s mini farm:

Mycological Neutraceuticals are for medicinal use.  They are $18/bottle.  Totally worth it!

Mycological Neutraceuticals

Mushroom Mini Farm

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Far West Fungi has got an adorable news paper growing kit I found on their website.   this would make for a great sustainable present!  And it’s only $7.oo!

Newspaper Growing Kit

Far West Fungi also sells Fungus Powders.  They carry: Domestic Porcini Powder, Shiitake Powder, Maitake Powder, Reishi Powder, King Trumpet Powder, Pioppini Powder, and a Wild Mushroom Blend Powder.  Hmmm hmmm!  Sounds totally delicious!

The King of Mushrooms

The King of Mushrooms is a local chef and is based in San Mateo.  I was told he only sells “whole sale”.  This to me meant he only wants to sell for commercial use.  The website, however, states there is a $100 minimum purchase limit.  So one just has to purchase in large quantities.  At the festival, you could buy any quantity of fungi from him!  🙂

Baskets of wild Fungi

Jar for Dried Mushrooms & Truffles

You can buy The King of Mushroom’s products online:

Here are the species of  mushrooms you can buy from him!

Golden Chanterelles (Oregon) (fresh and dried)

Golden Chanterelles (California)

Golden Chanterelles (Europe)

White Chanterelles

Hedge Hogs

Porcini (fresh and dried)

Lobster Mushrooms (fresh and dried)

Morels (fresh and dried)

Yellow Foot Chanterelles

Black Trumpets

Blue Foot

Alba Pioppini

Brown Pioppini

Velvet Piopparello

Forest Nameko

Hen of the Woods / Maitake (fresh and dried)

Nebrodini / Abalone Cap

King Oyster / Gambone


Large Shiitake

Petite Shiitake

Wood Ear

Black Trumpets (dried)

Candy Caps (dried)

White Alba Truffles (dried)

Perigord Truffles (dried)

Black Burgundy Truffles (dried)

Todd Spanier and Sales associate

The King of Mushrooms does local forays for collecting fungi.  Here are the King of Mushroom’s upcoming events


Fungi Magazine is for “Fungophiles” (a word I learned at Fungus Fair meaning Fungus Lover)!  They are a non profit magazine and provide in-depth educational articles about collecting mushrooms and nutritional benefits of the mushrooms.  They also have really cool t-shirts!  You can find back issues at the bottom of this page and read lots of their articles in PDF format for free!

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The FUNGI magazine shirts are so beautiful and informative!  BUY IT HERE!


Such delicate fungi

The Medicinal Fungus issue.  It is available through the website!  Chaga is good for you apparently!

Chaga issue of Fungi

Glow in the dark mushrooms!  Here is one of the luminescent fungi articles.

Glow in the dark mushrooms!

The International Mushroom Dye Institute

What a great organization!  Founded by Miriam Rice, and now headed by her daughter Felicia Rice, the International Mushroom Dye Institute promotes natural dyes from fungi.   Miriam Rice has documented her recipes for all the colors of the rainbow in her book Mushrooms for Dyes, Paper, Pigments & Myco-Stix™

At Felicia Rice’s table, we were in awe of all of the gorgeous naturally dyed yarns, fabric, and paper that were on display!

Felicia Rice of The International Mushroom Dye Institute

Amazing Picture book documenting the shade samples

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Myriam Rice’s Myco Stix (Mycelium Crayons! )

Beautiful coral pink fungus

Mycelium Dye Recipes

Fabric Samples with natural mushroom dyes

M. Loren Washburn

Beautiful Silk fabrics died with mushroom dyes!  Loren’s clothes and accessories  are all in the neutral color shades.  She has lovely designs on the silk she has.

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Fungi on Display

One of the cutest stores I found in Tampere Finland – Taito Shop

I had my boyfriend Henrik drop me off here while he caught up with his college friends at a pub across the street called The Office.  I probably spend hours at Taito.  Everything was soo cute.  The thick yarns you see are called “t shirt” yarn in America.  They are very easy to find in Finland and are most commonly used to make carpets.

Lenin Museum (Lenin-Museo) in Tampere Finland

This was a very unique museum.  Lenin has a history in Tampere Finland so it’s not that random that there should be a museum dedicated to him in Tampere.

In Nokia Land and Angry Birds Land for the holidays (Tampere, #Finland)

Terve folks!  (that means Hello in Finnish).  I’ve been visiting Tampere, Finland for the last 10 days and I have 6 more to go.  The purpose of my visit was to meet my boyfriend’s family for the first time.  It’s been wonderful to experience Suomi (Finnish) holiday traditions with Henrik’s family.  They have made me feel so welcome, that once in a while I slip Mom and Dad when I talk about his parents!  :-p

I will upload my pictures intermittently.

Wow…! I definitely couldn’t live like this but it’s great these folks can.


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