20 poisonous fungi presentation on 1 March

I timed my second series of lectures for the first day of the meteorological spring to prepare you for the mushroom season. The series covers 200 species of mushrooms. On the 20th of February I introduced you to 20 pairs of poisonous-edible fungi, but this Wednesday you won't hear about those mushrooms. I have other twenty that are just as important and can easily surprise you when you are mushroom picking, so knowing them is important.
The presentation is in Hungarian. The chat room will open at 17:50. The ticket price is 1000 HUF/2 euro 50 cent. You can transfer to my phone number +36706004075.

The most important poisonous fungus

The death cap Amanita phalloides is most important poisonous fungus in Hungary. It's a recurring species in many of my presentations, because it's really important to know it for anyone who wants to collect mushrooms in the wild. I started Monday's presentation with it. Three of the five pictures feature A. phalloides. The second shows a death cap with a brittlegill. The third picture shows only brittlegills (Russula). The fourth shows the false deathcap Amanita citrina. And incredible as it may seem, that tiny fungus next to the coin in the fifth picture is a death cap. Unfortunately, the greenish-brown cap-coloured A. phalloides is easy confused with greasy green brittlegill Russula heterophylla. But on stipe of brittlegill has not ring and volva! This can be seen in the third picture in the top right corner. The fruiting bodies of the Russula species are interestingly broken, crushable, and have much drier flesh than Amanita. When picking mushrooms, it's important to pay attention and notice the important characteristics to avoid mixing edible mushrooms with life-threatening poisonous death cap.

Twenty poisonous-edible fungi pairs

On Monday I gave the sixth presentation of the Gombafutam/Running mushroom. It was one of the most important performances of the series. These five images were also included in the presentation, showing a four pairs of fungi. Upper left Amanita phalloides vs. Agaricus species, lower Agaricus xanthodermus vs. Agaricus arvensis, upper right Verpa bohemica vs. Gyromitra gigas, lower Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca vs. lower right Cantharellus ferruginascens. The edibility of Agaricus arvensis is questionable because its cadmium uptake is significant, but to develop heavy metal poisoning you need to eat a lot of the mushroom.
This theme will be continued in Gombatár/Mushroom Repertory, which starts on 1 March, I will be presenting twenty of poisonous fungi.
The value of my lectures is that they provide two-way communication, I support the learning process with questions, and I like students to share their experiences with each other and with me. Real, supportive communication is sorely missing in our lives. I think we all experience this and long for meaningful communication. This is the value I strive for in my lectures. Tickets for my lectures cost 1000 HUF, which is 2 euros 50 cents. Is that too much? For the value I provide, no.

At the breakpoint

As a citizen, I am active in politics because I know that no one has the right to influence my life negatively for personal gain. We should talk about this first. We live in the same country! For me, it is always distasteful when someone shies away from politics, because in their minds confuse party politics (aligned against them) with real politics, which is the discussion and effective management of our public affairs. Public affairs are nobody's business, because neither the people nor the parties are concerned with them. It really looks like nobody cares about the country after all. Already as a whole community, at the level of the nation, there is no common will or vision for the future of the country. Individual selfishness and distrust are so strong that they tear initiatives apart, because I see small communities trying but giving up very quickly because of external pressures and internal contradictions. How, if at all possible, can the Hungarian nation be saved from its own negative traits? Face it, the Hungarian politician is using and playing with the negative traits for personal gain, and he doesn't care about the community. Words obscure, not reveal in Hungary. So be careful, look at the actions of the speaker! Actions, or lack of them, are a very good indicator of a person's character.
It is the curse of words (labels), and the Hungarian nation is addicted to them, that 'we' are special, victims, destined for greatness. None of this is true. Oh, how wrong it is. And these are obstacles that stand in the way of progress.
Now a cliché has come out of my mind, but the fact is that man can grow stronger and better through his struggles. The Hungarians are not willing to fight, they have given up, they are helpless hysterics, and if the "father figure" gives them a kiss, they are grateful. In the meantime, the 'father figure' is a traitor who has sold them to the East and is only interested in himself, since he has built a stadium next to his country house for his personal pleasure, using HUF 4 billion in tax money.
In the spring of 2022, Viktor Orbán embarked on a very risky gamble to protect the staggering wealth he had amassed with power. Unfortunately, this gamble is endangering the livelihoods and lives of the Hungarian people. Just think of the total decline of the health care system. If you want to live, you have to pay, but already the private health sector is extremely overburdened. Viktor Orbán has no interest in the welfare of the Hungarian people. He already has money from elsewhere and his system will work without you. So he only needs three million of the Hungarian people to legitimise his power in rigged elections. But if he leaves the EU, he won't even need that anymore and will turn into a hard dictatorship and you can just watch what the hell is going on? Nothing happens that we have not already seen in history.
I told you what to expect in 2010. You did not listen. I'm telling you now again. You don't cry for your misfortune to me in ten years' time, because I don't want to see you.

Halfway between two worlds

I went for another walk today, tempted by the sunshine, but the smoke soon started to burn my eyes. The amount of rubbish being burnt is staggering, because people cannot afford modern heating technology or to improve their properties. The smoke from burning rubbish is full of carcinogenic compounds. Just today a statistic came out that the number of cancer cases in my country is the highest and too many people are dying from it. This shows that although Hungary is still among the most developed countries, currently in 46th place, but we will be out of the top 50 in a few years.
As I was walking, I was thinking, surely I want to die here? Because life is becoming less and less possible. In Hungary, the fundamental right to life is effectively being violated because individual interest overrides everything. Okay, who am I to deprive someone else of the warmth of home, which he achieves by burning rubbish, but he harms himself and others with smoke!
This is a suicidal nation in the big picture.
The strength of a country lies in its citizens, independent of state power, capable of acting, value-creating and value-keeper, regardless of their origin, gender or age. Unfortunately, there is a third type: the value-loser.
What are the orange cadres like in terms of their actions? Considering the state of the nation. In a few years Bulgaria will overtake Hungary. Incredibly incompetent and pernicious figures prey on the nation, projecting a false national image to the gullible who have lost the battle against their own dark impulses.
If those few hundred thousand truly independent citizens don't get their act together and start the work of reforming this year, I'm out of the country too. Fighting alone is a double pain. I will definitely go, because with 45 years of experience, as a good observer, I can see exactly where the runaway decay is heading. And I don't want to get under the rubble!

How do I write a novel?

I was born with artistic gifts that I develop for my own pleasure. As a child, I found the tales fascinating because they were exciting and you could think about the story further. I soon realised that I could weave a story. It is a good gift of the human mind. Then, growing up, I was confronted with the unfortunate fate of the writing profession, that it is hard work with little return. In reality, every novel is a lottery ticket that you give to the world and hope you win everything. I'll tell you, you're just as likely to make a living writing as you are to win the jackpot. So when the muse kisses you, prepare yourself mentally for the possibility that your book may not be in print, or even read. Better to be aware of the disappointing reality than to believe in marketing fairy tales. The reason there are so few bestsellers is because the few seem to be more valuable in the eyes of consumers. A famous author really does bring a lot to the publisher, and later to the film producer, the game producer and so on. Writing is also a business. Approach it like a pro, even if you know you'll never make a living at it. If you do feel a strong urge to write and are constantly improving, spend your free time creating.
You may have been a genius of your time, and after your death your manuscripts will be found and you will be famous. I have the artistic persona of a writer, but I am not attracted to literary activity. Too much effort for little reward. A novel can take months or even a year to write, or years for a very demanding writer. Writing is a continuous thinking. Moreover, you have to write in a way that the reader enjoys and understands what you are reading. If you think it's easy, you're wrong. The mind escapes the effort. The first challenge is to persuade yourself to write.
A little help if you know in advance what you want to write about. I'll give you a little help with the planning. These are basic storytelling tools.

"A purposeful character is the starting point for good storytelling, for real drama.

The true character of a character is revealed in a crisis situation.

The true character of the hero is revealed in the conflict. The conflict begins with a decision. The decision is made because of the premise. The hero's decision causes a change, to which the antagonist reacts and responds, which also forces the hero to react, and so on until the climax and conclusion of the story.

Who is the character?
Where does he come from?
What does he want?
What prevents him from achieving it?
What must he do to overcome this resistance?


The writer's belief, the premise of the story, which must be proven to the reader.

Reader's expectations: need for new information (e.g. a classic story in a new form), need for bonding (to discover in the hero a trait of self or acquaintance), need for conflict resolution (hero solves the problem), need for completeness (all questions answered, hero solves all problems or has a different attitude to them).


dynamic alternation of sorrow and joy

Act one:    the hero is in a crisis
Act two:   trying to get out of trouble
                 to solve the problem at hand
                 everything becomes more and more hopeless (low point)
                 the hero does not give up, resolves the conflict (climax)
Act three: a new balance is established in his life

Arc of chapters/scenes: conflict, goal, solution, hook

Chapter by chapter, the stakes are raised in the main dramatic arc to the big climax.

thesis: a claim derived from characters
antithesis: one character denies the claim
synthesis: characters clash and one of them suffers the consequences of the denial

Where there is no contradiction, there is no conflict!"

New series of lectures in 2023

Today was the fifth performance of Gombafutam/Running mushroom. In the meantime, I'm going to start another online series focusing on species knowledge, with 10 presentations of 200 mushrooms in total. At the moment, I try to select the most important mushrooms, keeping in mind their edible value. The most attractive feature of mushrooms is their unique taste. They add variety to our meals. There are many excellent mushroom dishes. I have my favourite edible mushrooms, which I like to collect and have many fond memories of. Among the 200 will be important poisonous mushrooms, interesting and protected mushrooms too. A good exercise is to list the species and arrange them in groups of 10x20.
The picture shows some fungi with closed fruiting bodies, which belong to quite different taxonomic groups, but used to be in the same class, the Gasteromycetes. You can find the full selection of pictures on my blog's Facebook page.

Szeged, the city of sunshine and mushrooms

Today I travelled over to Szeged for the local shroomers' event. This year's course is starting and today was the first day of training. I was there at the same time a year ago, and I don't understand why I don't go more often, because the atmosphere in Szeged is significantly better than in my hometown. It's not far, 100 kilometres away, and the train journey takes an hour and a half. Photos taken with a mobile phone also convey something of the mood of the day. I only clicked on a few of them, because I was there mainly for the event, but I did wander around downtown a bit. The Tisza, the main square, the Duomo are always nice to see. The local shroomers are a very good team. It was great to see how many people came to the first day. I have been thinking about what I can use from what I have seen. I like learning because there is always something to improve.

P.S.: Which I can't stand, because the last straw in the poisoned chalice of stupidity is the return of the castle-county. Our castles have been ruins or monuments for a long time, but our corrupt elite are playing the feudal lord, they are signing the country's assets in their name. They are scoundrels, scavengers. I have a patient and gentle nature, and I have endured the triumph of evil stupidity until I was 42. I have now switched for my own good to total defence against the madness. I have had enough. As soon as I get the chance, I'm packing up and getting out of here. I love many of our cities and regions, but I'm not willing to go from citizen to "human resource" because of the domineering intentions of a few dozen villains.

The forbidden fruit

I was wondering about the protection of mushrooms in the context of the Amanita caesarea. As a root-associated fungus, it associates with trees. The forest is its habitat.

How do we treat forests?
What damage is being done to forests because of climate change?
What is the real threat to the Caesar's mushroom?

I confess that I very rarely pick up a beautiful its fruiting body. I know that it is a protected fungus in Hungary. I don't even collect them here, but in Romanian forests. And I collect so rarely it that the photo is from 2018.

The point of this post is my three questions. Please try to answer them.

Cavalcade of fruiting bodies

On 13 February, in the fifth part of my lecture series, I will show the diversity of fruiting bodies and give an insight into taxonomy, the surprising relationships of fungi, the convergent evolution, spore-spraying techniques. The picture I put in this post was taken in November 2020, before a video shoot, which I pasted at the end of the post. The box contained the fruiting bodies of three orders of mushrooms. These are really the most important orders for shroomers: Agaricales, Boletales, Russulales. Two other orders are Cantharellales, Polyporales. Unfortunately, only one species of the magnificent chanterelles lives in the oak plantations of Békés county. The edible species of bracket fungi  are common species, but the brackets are less important from a nutritional point of view, as most of their fruiting bodies are inedible. The most famous and much-loved edible bracket is the chicken of the woods Laetiporus sulphureus. Now it feels a bit good to think about late spring, when the "yellow mushrooms" start to grow. Mushroom picking is one of the best outdoor activities.
I recommend you check out my blog's Facebook page, where I share more useful information.

Mushrooms are wonderful, but you need knowledge to mushroom

When I recognised my first mushroom as a small child, which was the shaggy inkcap Coprinus comatus, I immediately hold up a book on mushrooms. I was ten, but I knew I needed more knowledge. That's why it surprises me when adults, without any concrete knowledge, get the urge to pick mushrooms in the rainy summer when they see the abundance. I never did such a silly thing. I was careful. And one of my favourite quotes to this day: mushrooms are always ready to surprise us. Thanks to my caution and thirst for knowledge, I have never had any unpleasant surprises. I have had many wonderful experiences with mushrooms. That's why I think it's important to educate you, so that mushrooms can give you a good experience. Monday is the fourth in my lecture series. I'm pleasantly excited, because I'm excited to be delivering a really rich package of knowledge. I like to impress my listeners. I like to show you the wonderful mushrooms and of course warn you what to look out for.
The presentations are in Hungarian.

The risks of mushroom consumption

On February 6, the topic of the fourth online lecture is the risks of mushroom consumption. It is a great pleasure to find good and delicious mushrooms in the summer forest. In the basket shown in the picture, after picking mushrooms in June, all mushrooms were edible. Unfortunately, mushroom-flies are very active in the heat of summer, which makes the mushrooms wormy. The one, which is fundamental, is that we do not eat wormy mushrooms. In fact, it is even more important not to go mushroom picking without basic knowledge. The most poisonous mushroom does not look at all risky if you do not recognize it.
The Amanita phalloides has a pleasant smell and taste, it does not change its color. How do I know it's delicious? Those who ate it and survived the poisoning they said it. You should not pick up the fungus with white gills, ring and volva for eating purposes, because they are definitely death cap! The color of the cap is extremely varied: green, brown, grey, white, yellow. The death cap is associated with trees, you can find it in wooded places. It also lives in city parks. I also took the photo in the city. Fortunately, serious fungus poisoning is rare, stomach upset is more common. The phenomenon of mushroom allergy exists, as mushrooms contain an amazing variety of compounds, several of which can overload our body. And in this case, our body quickly empties the stomach and intestines.
The Suillellus luridus is a mushroom that can be made edible by thorough cooking. It is an important fact that, due to the many compounds, edible mushrooms are recommended to be eaten boiled or fried. Only very few good mushrooms are edible raw! And there are mushrooms for which you really have to take seriously the warning to cook them thoroughly. These contain thermally decomposable compounds, which, in the case of raw mushrooms, are guaranteed to poison us to a lesser extent.
Now this was a little insight into the material of the presentation.


Today is the beginning of my birth month, I was a born at dawn on February 24, 1978 and it was the beginning of a winter day with snow and wind. Well, I never liked winter, I was more into summer when I was younger. In the forty-five years I've been alive, the seasons have changed, the warming process is quite obvious. It is now plus seven degrees outside. It looks like an extremely cold air mass is coming from the North Pole in the near future, but this is only an anomaly. Looking at global temperatures, it is clear that it is warmer. I am glad that the weather will be reminiscent of winter, because this mildness is not good for nature. I have no idea how I will pay the gas bill, though. Life is so hard. That's why it's important to have a few more students with whom we can mutually support each other. I give my decades of knowledge in exchange for currency. In February, I will be presenting four lectures on Mondays: Risks of mushroom consumption, Cavalcade of fruiting bodies, 20 poisonous-edible mushroom pairs, My food is my medicine.
You can join. The presentations are in Hungarian.