Making Mushroom Spore Prints

I know, I am about a season late for this post. The pictures have been in my memory card since October but life happens some times and there’s just no time. Well, it is still going to be autumn next year and there is always the Southern Hemisphere, so I ‘ll just post this now (it’s now or never).

Mushrooms: I love to eat them, I love to observe them, I love to learn facts about them. There are at least two books about mushroom hunting at my parent’s home and I would leaf through them regularly as a child. I also found a great Dutch children’s book at our local library about mushrooms (yes, in October, so don’t ask me about the title now please) and that’s where I read about making spore prints.  The process is really easy.

(some one nibbled on this one)

First, you have to pick a bunch of nice mushrooms. The more open the caps, the better. Here are ours.

Then you cut the cups, put them on paper and cover with bowls. Like that:

Leave them overnight and the next day you can uncover them and hopefully you will see the spore print.
As you can see, the spores vary in color so it’s a good idea to use paper with different colors. As the spores dry, they fade a bit too.
Do click on the spore pics to see them full-size. It’s wonderful how you can actually see all the lines even on the white-0n-white one.

Now (wait a few months and) go out there and get some mushrooms! Needless to say, if you go with your kids, make sure they know we NEVER eat the mushrooms we pick for our art projects and experiments, unless we have picked them with a knowledgable person. Those things can be deadly.

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