MATT SCHUBERT OUTDOORS: Time for mushroom photo contest again — do you got what it takes?

HISTORIANS WILL CALL it a seminal moment some day.

For it was then, and only then, that mushrooms were brought out of the shadows and into the light.

We called it Mushroom Mania. The rest of the free world called the inaugural mushroom contest an unadulterated success.

Bloggers, bolete baggers and blowhards (see fellow pictured above) all trumpeted it for what it was: The most magical meeting of finance and fungus since Jerry Garcia’s tragic passing.

For fungi was finally feted in a manner befitting its stature on that fateful day, given its due by an unlikely source — the humble pages of the PDN.

Well, my dear Peninsulites, the time hath come to celebrate our shrooms once again.

Why, you ask?

Because this mycophiliac will not rest until the North Olympic Peninsula’s underground mushroom culture is exposed for all to see.

Because the world needs to know that vampires aren’t the only parasitic life form flourishing in the dark and dingy corners of our countryside.

And, most importantly, because the PDN is looking to drop some dead presidents. And I’m just the guy to do it.

The bastardization of alliteration must begin with yours truly.

So as fall’s fungi arrive, so too does Mushroom Mania, Part Deux.

Ground rules

I’d like to say that everyone followed the rules last year, but that would be a lie.

Be it problems with reading comprehension, or problems with being able to slog through one of my biweekly pieces of published trash, many ignored the fine print.

So please pay attention Peninsulites. I’d hate to have to disqualify a winner for the second year in a row.

The ground rules are the same:

• There will be three separate fungal competitions, with $50 going to the winner of each. The runner-up gets nothing, because, let’s face it, they didn’t win anything.

• Please send in pictures only. I’m pretty sure fungus is already growing underneath the clutter on my desk. The last thing I need is for its cousins to show up.

• Lastly, all submissions must be edible mushrooms from the Peninsula itself. This, however, excludes those of the psychedelic variety.

Save those for Burning Man, Phish concerts or whatever clandestine quarters of Quimper Peninsula accept that sort of thing.

All photos should be sent to matt.schubert@peninsuladailynews.com. The deadline for submission is Nov. 3. Only one submission per category for each entrant will be allowed.

Please provide your name, address and phone number.

The categories

Here are the three categories shroomers can compete in:

• Largest mushroom — Some say size doesn’t matter. In the case of Mushroom Mania, it pays the bills.

Send in a photo of your magnificent mushroom next to a ruler measure in inches. This is the good old U.S. of A. No metric system here.

• Mushroom most likely to distract a “Twihard” — This category is essentially for the prettiest piece of fungus one can find on the Peninsula.

The mushroom in question must be majestic, awe-inspiring and more spell-binding than a day of Twilight tourism.

Some might say I’ve lowered the bar on this one. Yet as any avid reader of this column can attest, it wouldn’t be the first time.

• Mushroom most resembling Matt Schubert — Personally, I’m not a big fan of this particular category.

After all, I’m willing to wager there isn’t a fungus among us that can match my dark and dashing countenance . . . let alone my sultry devil-may-care smile.

But the big boss man (PDN editor and publisher John Brewer) insisted upon its inclusion.

Since this “punko” wishes to remain among the ranks of the employed, the Schube abides.

All that I ask is that you please be kind.

Clam meeting

As was reported in this column space two weeks ago, Kalaloch Beach will open to razor clam digging for the first time in two years this fall.

The National Park Service and state Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold its annual meeting about the Kalaloch razor clam population on Wednesday, Oct. 11, in Forks.

Biologists will discuss the Olympic National Park beach’s clam population as well as projections related to this year’s harvest.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the state Department of Natural Resources conference room at 411 Tillicum Lane near Tillicum Park in Forks.

Kalaloch clam populations have rebounded after two straight years of low numbers and small clam sizes.

The annual stock assessment in August showed that the beach has approximately 3.5 million adult clams, with an average size of about four inches.

Based on this information, Olympic National Park plans to open Kalaloch for razor clam harvest this season, beginning in October, pending satisfactory toxin testing results.

Dates for October and November will be announced soon.

Kayak symposium

The West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium hits Fort Worden State Park this weekend.

The annual event kicks off on Friday at 9 a.m., and will remain open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sunday.

Kayakers can partake in numerous on-water clinics while also sampling the last gear from many of the leading kayak manufacturers.

Those interested can register for single- or three-day ($165) packages.

Registration is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. There’s also early attendee registration today from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, visit www.wcsks.org.

________

Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column regularly appears on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at matt.schubert@peninsuladailynews.com.

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