HEre in Seattle I have only found these on occasion. The first was in 1982 here in Seattle. On Capital Hill. a district close to downtown Seattle had a Safeway on Broadway,. one street west of Broadway was a nursing home. I found blue ringers (P. stuntzii) on the lawns in front of the home. On the right of the building was a hand made wooden fence with a latch. I unhooked it from the back of in and entered,
There were blue ringers all over and then I started to find about two dozen P.baeocystis in the grassy area of the and therein the mulch near another fence behind the building that headed to the north side where the cross street was I came up my first patch of P. allenii. At the time I was not aware of it but from about 20 feet away, it look like giant mushroom under two Rhododendron bushes. When I got closer, I noticed that it was a giant clump of very close to one another many shrooms, all straw yellow from a bright morning sun.
It was about noon and I heard a voice behind me that startled me/ I turned around to see a ground level window raised up and there was an elderly (maybe 80-years-of age looking at me asking, "Sonny, what are you looking for in the garden bed?"
As usual when confronted picking shrooms I always am honest and tell whomever (on ten occasions in ten years I told ten separate cops),. "I am picking wild mushrooms."
SHe then warned me to be careful and proceeded to inform me that some people die from eating wrong shrooms. She was not paranoid that I was creeping in the back yard of their nursing home.
That cluster after lifting it from the Earth and I later laid it out and it had 237 mushrooms in it. They were very thick capped on the top circle of the shroom cluster/clump. The caps were also somewhat leathery and similar to David Reeshi's sun-drying straw-colored hygrophanous fresh caps of the specimens above in the grass. I brought some to Breittenbush shroom annual show that year. Others also brought some.
David Arora's first edition of Mushrooms Demystified had a picture in color that was mislabeled as P. cyanescens. Years later I learned from Jeremy Bigwood that the picture was of the P.cyanofibrillosa. However that was incorrect.
Over the years I always found small patches maybe one every three years.
In 1997 When I came to Seattle from Hawaii, I only found another two small patches of like 30-40 mushrooms. In 2008-2010, I found Three patches at the U of W properties/ ONe only the first year. That find I photographed the patch 4 times and only picked the larger specimens and left the smaller ones to grow. However, shroom thieves raided that patch. I did get enough to send to Guzman in Mexico. For three straight years I sent collections to Gaston Guzman at the Instituto de Ecologia in Xalapa, Veracruz and each year Guzman wrote me that he had examined them under the microscope and told me they were Psilocybe cyanescens.
Well I knew they were not. decades earlier I had similar problems from experts who misidentified other discoveries of mine. I also in this website, was the first to suggest that Psilocybe weilii was actually P. caerulescens and many members here chided me and hassled me about that matter. Thanks to Shroomery assholes, I had put up with that kind of harassment so I paid little attention to the matter.
I get very jealous that I did not live in San Francisco as I probably would have still been who I am only instead of Cyans and Blue ringers and Baos and lib caps, I would of had the P. allenii. But then again, it would not have been named in my honor/
I see these posts by shroom lovers in the bay area and I get jealous of the size of the caps, their thickness in many old images (for instance, Alan Rockefeller posted some awesome images of large caps of P. allenii drying on Aluminum foil while producing excellent spore prints. Outside of the original clump I found at that nursing home. the Seattle shrooms never got past the two to three inches tall and roundish small orangey to yellowish to straw-yellow caps and intense bluing in the stems.
After Dr. Guzman still continued to examine yet a fourth collection, And again telling me that the shrooms were Psilocybe cyanescens, I then decided to send more specimens to Dr.Jan Borovicka at the University of Prague in the Czech Republic.
I sent Jan specimens each fall for three years. He did extensive DNA studies on them and determined that I did indeed have a new species.
At the time, in the middle fo a three year period of study, Jan received a communication from Alan Rockefeller asking him if he would do some studies on the unnamed species and Jan informed Alan that he was already doing it with me.
Around that same time Jan told me of Alan's request and I told Jan that Alan would be the perfect person to aid in publication as the Bay area was so profusely rich in this species. I did know of the cyans in San Francisco having picked some in Golden Gate Park before people learned oft the species in the park.
WEll The paper was great and Alan and P.G. Werner's addition as a second and third author was also worthy of the paper.
I was a little disappointed as I send Jan and Alan over 300 photos of P. allenii and that also included about ten SEM's of P. allenii made by me and my Thai Colleague and friend, Dr. Prakitsin Sihanonth of the Dept of Microbiology at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok/
I also provided some data on season which runs differently in the PNW (Washington and Oregon) season is from Oct to December or whenever the first snow or frost comes first.,. In the Bay area the seasons starts in November through January and into Feb depending on Weather conditions. Also, in the PNW,. they thrive mostly in alder twigs, stems, and branches. YEt in the Bay Area, Alan reports they are pretty common in Eucalyptus wood chip mulches with other mixed hardwoods.
Here is a cluster of the UW patch from 2008. This was a small one but was somewhat reminiscent of the large cluster clump I found at the nursing home in 1982.
The rest here would of produce a massive patch, But as I said, people really tore this patch apart. I do recall while paying down in the taller grassy area, that some passers by on a trail might have seen me.
I have found people three days later who passed me by when I was picking cyans and on several occasions I saw same people in a patch I had first found and left shrooms to grow. and one dude was selling cd's of photos of species from my website and charging people $20 dollars to take them to a patch that Mushroom John told him he could come with friends to pick the shrooms. Something I did not do.
HEre is the clump, a few photos of it and then A few of the ones I did pick. When I returned three-four days later, All the small specimens had been picked and new ones had emerged. If no one had raided it and there were shovel imprints in the earth where soil and mulch had been removed, then that patch would have spread in the surrounding area which was alk new top soil, Christmas trees that were from 2 feet to 3 feet tall, and lots of baby blackberry brambles rooting outwards. The shrooms grew at that one spot for three years but each year, the shrooms were picked between me coming and going. I found a second patch in another spot about 200 yards down another trail and in the new wooded area on campus and may have appeared there from me spreading spores from my boots or even clothes as I always lay down to photograph or harvest the shrooms/
Pmm the other hand, I have picked blue ringers for almost 11 years on massive lawns at Southcenter Shopping Mall in Tukwilla, Took Andrew Weil there once picking Baeos and Blue ringers. One sidewalk on Andover West at the Industrielle park side of the Mall ran about 20 blocks with blue ringers on every lawn. A few had P. strictipes also and some had baeos. Well I always go up one side of the street and then walk back the opposite direction on the other side of the street and as many lawns I walked up and down that had shrooms, Never once in those 11 years did any shrooms appear on the other lawns I walked over every produced any specimens. Okay. It is now too dark for me to see as I use big text and then reduce the side of the font to post. Cannot see worth shit.
These shrooms in the clusters also had the longest stems I had seen since that first giant cluster in 1982, Most I see from the Bay Area are short stemmed and close to the ground. Probably due to a two inch high top soil under the mulch. These are all from day one of the find in 1982. While I cannot show a lot of images. Some of this patch took me 20 minutes to cut away grass so I could photograph them.
The last three images show a cut grass with a small x-mas tree sprouting in the middle. and than a clump with the scissors. So you can actually see where I cut grass away to take a picture
mjshroomer/man of knowledge