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Transylvania Mushroom Camp 2020

Dibaeis baeomyces
Dibaeis baeomyces
Transylvania Mushroom Camp 2020
Photographs by Judit Kőszeginé Tóth
Mycena renati
Megacollybia platyphylla

Over two hundred and fifty species of fungi were encountered on the mushroom walks that were at the heart of the 21st annual Transylvania Mushroom Camp in Vărșag, jud. Harghita. Organised every year by Győző Zsigmond, an ethnographer, ethnomycologist, professor at the University of Bucharest and the president of the Kálmán László Mycological Society, the camp usually includes a packed programme but this year, naturally, it was stripped back to basics. However, the mental and spiritual benefits of getting out in the fresh air with friends and doing a stimulating and socially-distanced activity like foraging can’t be underestimated in these times of plague. Plus a pandemic doesn’t mean the mycological and natural wonders were any less forthcoming, as Judit documented with her camera. There is still no truly comprehensive research on exactly how many fungal species are native to Romania, and regional events like the Camp – as well as being a great way for fellow myco-enthusiasts to meet – help contribute to a better understanding of the ecology of a place or nation through the data they gather.

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