Saturday, May 31, 2008

Shape and color

I love the shape and color of this design!

Friday, May 30, 2008

My work

I work at an herbarium.
This is the kind of thing I do:

Herbaria are a mix of library, museum, and research archive. We keep dried, pressed, mounted plants in vaults for future scientific use.
My herbarium is at the Bean Life Science Museum at BYU.

I love it!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


My sister Briana is the strongest and funniest person I know. Even if she is very small.

Here are just a few of the funny things I catch her doing.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

road trip!

Provo was greening up (and so beautiful),

but we felt like going to California. Allan needed help moving some art work from Claremont (where he went to Graduate school) to Provo. J.P.Haynie and I came along!

We stopped at the weird mad Greek in Baker.

Here is the "Verbal Building" in the downtown village of Claremont.

we wandered around the graduate studios at the school and found some beautiful art. Here are a few of my favorites. Unfortunately, I don't know who made them, sorry artists.

This one is my favorite!

I do know who made these: Chelsea, our friend, who is very nice.


green take over. there is a hidden tomato plant.

bringing out the baggage in everyone's attic.

so pretty:

we walked around the 8 "Claremont Colleges" campus and saw a fun vegetable garden as well as other great plants.

We went all over L.A. and saw Korea town, China town, Amoeba Records, and even saw the new Indiana Jones (magnetic) crystal (alien) skull.

On Sunday we drove south down the coast to stay at my parents' house. It was part surprise.

We went to the beach!

And found that Candice shrank one inch this last year.

My brother grew a sunflower tree.

we hung out at the harbor with some old friends. A stranger took this picture.

Jordan, Ian, and Allan.

Allan's mom went to the same high school as my dad! we looked through the year books and found both of them. Here is my dad, Brent, at 16.

Thanks, family, for having us and for all the good food :)
I miss you!

On the way home we visited friends in Cedar City. We ate pizza with Jefferson, Abigail, Ellen, and Jared.

(kind of a lot of pictures, but that is how road trips go)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Blaine Furniss

I graduated in Integrative Biology, but took botany classes as opposed to zoology. My first plant class at BYU was Plant Diversity, taught by Blaine Furniss. He was such an enthusiastic teacher who brought me to see the wonder of the photosynthetic world. I took every class he taught and owe my knowledge and love of plants and fungi to him. Thank you so much Mr. Furniss, you mean a lot to your students.

Friday, May 16, 2008

tree skirt

Look what I found hanging out at Gallery 110 in Provo!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

shaggy manes

Shaggy Mane mushrooms (Coprinus comatus) and blooming lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are symbols of spring. However, shaggy manes are also a symbol of fall...

Every spring and every fall I can predictably find edible shaggy mane mushrooms growing in front of the Eyring Science Center at BYU and on the Provo Tabernacle lawn. A week or so after a big rain they can be seen popping up through the bark chips and grass.

Here are some i found and ate just yesterday. (*Forgive me Blaine Furniss, but I have found and eaten these for 2 years)

Shaggy manes are delicious and easy to identify.
They are white and flaky with a tight, cylindric/egg shaped cap that does not open and spread outward. The gills are very delicate and remind me of white fish meat, for some reason.

When I harvest Coprinus comatus for eating, I pull the cap from the stalk and leave it there. The stalks are very tough for structural support so I don't eat them.

See how closed and clean white the gills are?

These mushrooms are also called Inky Caps because when they release spores, the cap disolves into black, spore carrying liquid leaving naked stalks sticking straight up out of the ground.
This is very cool and amazing.
My first experience with Coprinus comatus was 4 years ago when I was just beginning to learn about fungi. I was thrilled to find these huge egg shaped mushrooms at BYU and I took them home to identify. I wanted to make a spore print, so i left them overnight on a piece of paper on my desk. In the morning, I thought my sister had ruined my project because there was "ink" all over the desk and stalks were all that was left of my huge mushrooms. After flipping through mushroom books, it was clear I had the "Inky Cap."

As I said, these are edible mushrooms, but only before they turn pink and then black with mature spores. The specimen below is half-gone already. When i find ones like this, I break off the pink sections and take only white. It's best to find all-white ones.

what i'm keeping (left side) and what i'm leaving (right side).

shaggy mane caps (plus a meadow mushroom sneak) cleaned and ready for cooking.
Note that there are no pink or black (sporulating) sections on these gills.

Shaggy manes must be cooked and eaten almost immediately. You cannot collect these and store them for later because they will turn to ink behind your back.
In addition, they cannot be sauted or baked like other mushrooms because of their high water content; you will have almost nothing left after the water evaporates.
Shaggy manes are best for soups and sauces.

I use Wildman Steve's recipe it has cashews and nutmeg!
Shaggy manes are urban mushrooms and can be found in well watered parks and lawns.
Here are some good links to help you identify them correctly. Once you are familiar with them, they are easy to spot.

Monday, May 12, 2008


The ducks are growing so fast. Martin, Platypus, and Babs love their outdoor pen. My dad helped me make it when he was in town for my graduation.

I like to sit outside and let them out of their pen to run around the yard.

Can you see how old Martin is getting?!

They love taking warm baths inside. Smart ducks!

These ducks are always happy and friendly.

Urban ducks are the wave of the future.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Live Green

I really really like Salt Lake City. I am going to miss it. I like the good community of bikers, gardeners, crafters, farmer's marketers, and out-doorists.

On Saturday, Briana and I spent the day at the SLC Live Green festival. I loved it and saw a lot of inspiring things. Plus it was beautiful weather.

well, first things first: I need this. I need to drive it with a little baby in the side car. I could also settle (temporarily) for driving it with ducks in the side car!

Second: these teens! We saw these two cute teens getting signatures for a petition to make urban chickens legal in Salt Lake County. I hope my teens are this awesome! (if you can't tell, they are the two with capris, hats, and crazy hair)

I really like these prayer flag knock-offs. I think they would be nice to commemorate a big event like a birth or wedding, etc. Each guest/friend writes a wish for the celebration and then they hang outside until the threads get blown to heaven by the wind.

Then we ate some delicious food. Thanks One World :)

and then:

on the way home we saw this cute couple. She is driving the scooter and he has a bag around his neck!

And then!

we went to the Beehive Bazaar, a provo crafters fair. It was in a beautiful building and there were a lot of beautiful crafts. I bought the felt flower, bird cards from Ashley Mae, and owl card from Sherisa (see below). Great job crafters.

a nice day :)

Friday, May 9, 2008


I went on a road trip to Seattle!  
Adam was moving all his things to start life after college and I got to come, too! 

We stayed with Adam's sister's family and did all kinds of things together.  Andra and Robbie have two kids, George and Oliver.

Here's Adam at Pike's Market with Oliver.

Here's Andra with George.

We went to the Seattle Aquarium!  There was a cool sea anemone that looked like a mushroom :)

This was my favorite fish at the aquarium!

We ate 4 piroshki's and were still hungry.

We went to lunch at a delicious place in Capital Hill.

Seattle: from the Elliott Bay Book Store

Adam and I went to Mushroom Maynia at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington.
We saw these mushroom crafts:

and these beautiful colors from mushroom dyes.  We're going to try this soon.

Here is Oliver right before I left for the airport.

Here is me and Adam when i was nervous right before I met with Dr. Ammirati, the Mycologist!

Lunch at Agua Verde, close to where little Candice's new dorm will be!

I had a great vacation to Seattle.  I'm excited to move there this July :)  
Thanks Robbie and Andra for letting me stay with your family!