With the start of the winter rainy season just around the corner, it's almost mushroom time in Southern California.
Not only are mushrooms great eating in cold, damp weather, they're also great hunting. But you don't want to go out and just start picking everything you see. Mushroom poisoning is rare in Southern California, but it can occur if you don't know what you're doing.
The Los Angeles Mycological Society, a group of experienced mushroom hunters, is holding its first meeting of the new season at 8 p.m. Monday at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. There is no charge and nonmembers are welcome. For more information, call (213) 292-1900.
Although you don't normally associate Southern California with wild mushrooms, there are plenty around, given a decent amount of rainfall to get them started. Among the winter season wild mushrooms are chanterelles, morels and boletes (also known as cepes and porcinis).