Observation 152638: Chrysomphalina aurantiaca (Peck) Redhead

When: 2013-11-09

Collection location: Elk Run Trail, Big Lagoon, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Noah Siegel (Noah)

No specimen available

Species Lists

Proposed Names

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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speaking of Forest Service work …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-06-18 11:39:30 CDT (-0500)

here’s another real obsie of C. aurantiaca by Noah Siegel … it’s not great art, but b’god you can recognize the mushrooms (and learn something too, if you are unfamiliar with the species).


which obsie would you consider more valuable? this or that?

in that case, our gov’t. IS doing the right thing, by pushing for more rather than less data! credit where credit is due.

sometimes, you have to push to get the job done right.

yeah, we expect better of the best. if that’s policing, well, guess that we could use more, not fewer police. but of course, police has such a negative connotation; guess that’s why you chose the word, eh?

shame that we’ll lose all of these fun conversations, too.
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-06-18 09:40:17 CDT (-0500)

what a self-congratulatory message!

Funny you mentioned the Forest Service job … in that case, you were mandated to produce photos and to post them on MO, and the resulting obsies were far more valuable than a mere list.

The MSSF used to provide lists, too, of their forays at various places, like Land’s End. But zero documentation. Now, when you go back, one isn’t quite sure what they saw, or how many or any sort of real info. It’s conjecture, and basically worthless for real science. As you well know, our species concepts are constantly changing. We need some sort of kernel of truth or real data to know where we’ve been as well as where we can go.

When you or Christian post a grocery list of fungi, say one of the cryptic sp. of
Pseudohydnum gelatinosum, how is that valuable down the road, without even a photo to steer us right? Really, it seems like arrogance, a quality that is easy to see in your posts and in one on one conversations.

Oh yeah, old school mycologists are desperate for young folks to fill in some of the field gaps, and the choices are sadly limited.

No one cares if you post a list of Trichaptum. Ho hum. But when you do post something that is rare or unusual, it definitely should be backed up by a photo. That’s just sloppy work, IMO, and I don’t care who is fluffing your ego and telling you otherwise.

But really Noah, you have never enjoyed playing nice with others. Whether stomping on secotioid Psilocybe sp. in NZ, just to mess with folks at the Shroomery, or making sure to only post your worst quality photos here, I’ve heard it all. From you, directly.

This is a caring and sharing site, that has some very interesting people doing some very good work, without thought of personal gain. Is it perfect? Hardly. Is it valuable? Yes.

Obviously, you were never a good fit here.

See ya!

I don’t know why
By: Noah Siegel (Noah)
2016-06-18 00:39:59 CDT (-0500)

I am responding, but I am.

First of all, this has all be said before time and time again, and the merry go round goes round and round… I don’t care to look for them, but this was one response:
This was a small plot I do surveys at, explaining the difficulties of photographing everything you see. http://mushroomobserver.org/species_list/show_species_list/740

During the INCU Red List (for protecting and conserving rare fungi species) meeting in Corvallis, OR this spring; a meeting of profession and very serious ‘amateur’ mycologist, it came up that MORE people should be uploading species list like Christian and I were doing. The data from our species list was very highly valued, and it was mentioned more than once that we need the mycology community posting more list, and getting more data, and NOT discouraging any forms of data collection (from the most common species being posted, to species list, to collections with complete macro, micro and DNA workups).

I have been doing botanical surveys for the USFS; this involves walking the forest, not with a collecting basket and camera, but a notebook and pencil, KEEPING SPECIES LIST of all plant species seen. This data is then used for distribution, abundance and seasonality. Would it be nice to have similar data for fungi… Views like this “Anything less, with no vouchers, is just trash” is not helpful to advance mycology. We know the exact range of pretty much every plant species in the area I am working. Not because we have observations with photographs, but because we have species list.

I have been in the field all but five days in May and June in the CA mountains; from the southern Sierra to the OR border, and have seen a LOT of fungi this spring (50+ photographed and vouchered collections from the Warner Mnts last week). I see fungi every day, keeping list every day. Do I need to photograph, for instance, Trichaptum abietinum every time I see it? I don’t think so, writing it down and moving on to the next thing works fine for me, and many others. This way, I can better spend my time looking for more interesting species, and by recording it (species list) I have a record for it, and when I was posting species list, you all had a record too. That is not the case anymore; now I have a record, and I have data that I share with a few professional mycologist, who take my word when I tell them I saw species x, on x date. This way we had a larger number of dots on a map.

But none of this matters to me anymore, I have moved on from MO. No more species list, no more observations, no more photos, and as soon as my data is exported to another site, no more of my old observations. I have talked to a lot of people who have left MO. They DID NOT leave because this site is not “scientific enough”, but because of the self appointed, ‘police of MO’.

Now, I will let the door hit my ass on the way out, and don’t worry there will be 10 people to fill my spot.

By: Byrain
2016-06-16 12:45:40 CDT (-0500)

I can count those openly for these imageless observations on one or maybe two hands while I have had mycologists that don’t even come here tell me how these observations are utterly stupid. On the other hand one of my teachers told me these observations are okay because MO is not a serious site and just a blog… It was a rather depressing realization finding out that is how other biologists view us.

Anyways, this is not and never has been about policing users or differing viewpoints, this is about having the best possible database we can so that future mycologists can use it to educate themselves and others. Right now we are just continually making that harder since our database is an editorial nightmare which is just fragmenting our userbase for no good reason. As of now more mycologists are willing to post in cesspits like facebook than here despite that it is owned by evil people who do not value their userbase in the slightest while MO is free as in freedom. This can be seen in the following link to the MO license agreement.


Additionally we do no need moderators, there isn’t much to moderate. We need editors like how bugguide.net does it, their system works, their database is extremely useful and well managed, their userbase is full of experienced and specialized users and we could learn a lot from them.

it’s not a problem for almost 7,000 MO users!
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-06-16 12:03:39 CDT (-0500)

MO is and always has been a mixed bag. There are rank newbies posting ridiculously out of focus photos and expecting ironclad IDs, there are eager new mushroomers desperately seeking insights from their more experienced myco-collegagues and there are stunningly thorough posters putting up beautiful observations that make you want to weep with joy.

And there is always a lively debate.

In a civilized world, one is kind and understanding to the innocent and inexperienced, but also reasonably expect more from the truly talented and accomplished.

Would we really have it any other way?

I will continue to encourage everyone to do their best work possible here.

No, an imageless obsie does not contribute to our knowledge base or a file sharing community for that matter. Believe me, these characters posting here are not merely names on a screen, but well known individuals in the real world. Patterns emerge over time and human observation. We bring knowledge of former interactions in real time to these virtual meetings on MO. Impatience with certain individuals becomes a learned behavior, reinforced by real time data.

If we lose a poster here or there, ten more will rise up to take their place. Yup, when Noah and Christian actually post data-filled obsies here, we all benefit. I am the first to applaud their good work, backed up with evidence. Otherwise its merely theoretical and really doesn’t have a place here, or if it does, it should be devalued.

Not all obsies are created equal!

That’s the problem
By: christopher hodge (christopher hodge)
2016-06-16 10:44:06 CDT (-0500)

There is Byrains idea of how the site should be, then there is Debbie’s, and Alan’s, so on and so forth. Every user seems to have different ideas of standards for the site and some people are more zealous about enforcing their own ideas, regardless of what Nathan intended when he created this. That is why it would be super helpful to have moderators, so we don’t have self appointed mushroom police.

Unfortunately its a double edged sword
By: Byrain
2016-06-16 08:58:47 CDT (-0500)

The first I suspect left because I did not appreciate his long standing secretive grudge and then had the bad taste to ask for collections to be made…

This site is indeed valuable, but the more we cater to these non-useful empty observations and do not maintain the quality of our database the more actual veteran or specialized mycologists want to have nothing do with us. However the more we try to improve our own quality standards we just lose users. I don’t see any way to win. Its gotten to the point the only potential solution I see is to just act upon making this site better and hope the consequences aren’t too much.

I recall one time Noah said (Paraphrased) that any observation that requires more details should be commented on so those details might be provided. Its dispiriting seeing him tarnish that ideal so thoroughly.

By: Tim Sage (NMNR)
2016-06-15 23:35:03 CDT (-0500)

Christian has nailed this topic many times, and Alan is right as well.

2nd gone
By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2016-06-15 22:08:02 CDT (-0500)

According to the MO facebook page Christian is the 2nd

I wrote the first last night basically, saying I like seeing his photos on MO. And I will miss seeing them. We need to try to keep people on here and especially from having useful images removed.

I don’t want to see a lot of people leaving here. I like the site. I enjoying seeing what people are finding. I like seeing people from all skill levels on here. I do see problems with the vote system buts that’s sort of hard to correct. What I have done in the past is to put up unnamed photos that I knew what they were just to get a glimpse of some of the peoples ID skills that I did not know.

I think this sight is very valuable to people just starting out and trying to learn mushrooms. They for the most part get a lot of help. We need to take extra care on dealing with them and being encouraging to them. Mushrooming is supposed to be fun.

I do try to watch what I say on here. And sometimes would like to say more but feel it would cause to many problems.

What can we do?
By: Byrain
2016-06-15 21:28:20 CDT (-0500)

I seen this time and time again, people get a slightest bit of recognition with mycology and then they suddenly become hostile and unreasonable. Sure I may be blunt and abrasive, but that is simply because I rather be candid than walk around on eggshells. Scaring away people is not my intent, but ignoring issues and sticking my head in the sand does not seem like a better option…

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2016-06-15 21:24:48 CDT (-0500)

Who is the second one? :-)

2 people now leaving MO in the last week
By: John Plischke (John Plischke)
2016-06-15 21:10:51 CDT (-0500)

This is not good.

You are right
By: Davide Puddu (Davide Puddu)
2016-06-15 21:03:52 CDT (-0500)

Making people go away from here help the purpose very much ;-) Ciao

By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2016-06-15 20:47:28 CDT (-0500)

I think you should go back and redefine the topic of this discussion for yourself. You are way off. And what is the intention of your argument in the context of the existing discussion anyway? Finally, how do “imageless” observations help the purpose of MO you quoted?

the error is to think this is the science you mean
By: Davide Puddu (Davide Puddu)
2016-06-15 20:28:29 CDT (-0500)

I’m not serious here, i’ll never be.Not enough to call it “science” in the strict sense ,even if i’m 100% sure of the species because i’ve done research on my own, hours under a microscope or writing down every single thing about it ,reagent comprised.
This is not a reviewed journal.
It is impossible that this will become one.
This is another kind of science, citizen science.It can be done by anyone who want to upload anything here and anyone can help.Guess what? It is a good way to have numbers for statistic so it provides important data in any case.
I don’t see the problem here.
If you want a different site just create it.
“The purpose of this site is to record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren’t familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms (mycology).”
i cannot read what you say here.

I said this before.
By: Byrain
2016-06-15 20:27:06 CDT (-0500)

But this is not about trust or anyone’s taxonomic ability or lack thereof. This is not even about the ease of identifying the collection which I am not sure is true here (see obs 236436).

This is about quality standards, nothing more. I am only pushing this because I am tired of seeing MO not taken seriously, we could have so much better. However instead here I am arguing against a strawman fallacy from someone who does know better… :(

“I didn’t know this site was taken very seriously…”
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2016-06-15 19:58:34 CDT (-0500)

Seriously, Davide? Some of us are here because being serious is our business, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! We must have order and order must be restored.:-)
I suppose we are all here for different reasons, most of which are well-meaning, unselfish, and supportive of the general purpose of MO. We are bound by a common passion for fungi/mushrooms, and we educate and enlighten each other in many ways. Many users contribute in any way they can. Isn’t that the idea? Once this environment becomes untenable, standards deteriorate further, and notable issues stay unresolved or ignored for whatever reason, serious individual will pack their bags and leave MO. Heck, Byrain is right, many have already left for good and others would never consider joining MO because it’s not up to their standards (not scientific enough). In the end, everyone will lose.
Oh, and one final thought: “Isn’t everyone free to do what in the bloody hell they want?” is a recipe for disaster.

I don’t think so.
By: Davide Puddu (Davide Puddu)
2016-06-15 19:49:18 CDT (-0500)

that is a pressure that can make people fed up with time.
this is a citizen science site. it is not a reviewed article , so this “big” discussion is pointless.

Yes, Davide
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2016-06-15 19:37:06 CDT (-0500)

Anyone can do whatever they want. But they might have to listen to other people complaining about it, because everyone else is free to do whatever they want too.

I’m far from this discussion and i’ll stay so…
By: Davide Puddu (Davide Puddu)
2016-06-15 19:16:14 CDT (-0500)

but now i want to ask you one thing.
Can’t anyone on this site upload observations just to have a general list of what he/she collects even if without images?
I didn’t know this site was taken so seriously, damn.
It is not even a publication that you can call “science” , most of the times we are not citing anything ,not posting micro , not posting the reasons that lead us to the ID.The reason is easy : it would require an infinite amount of time when you upload hundreds of obs.
Isn’t everyone free to do what in the bloody hell they want?

If it bothers you
By: christopher hodge (christopher hodge)
2016-06-15 19:11:27 CDT (-0500)

Then grow up and ignore it.

As long as you can create an observation without needing a photo, it will happen. Even if no one else believes this observation, it’s useful for Noah. Obviously I and many others trust Noah’s taxonomy skills, especially such an easy to identify mushroom. I see no point in arguing for needing for more data.

Perhaps you should ask Nathan to make it so you can’t create an observation without photos if you are irritated by these kind of observations. Trying to nag Noah into putting up his pictures is never going to work.

Whelp, that’s it for me. Y’all are an insane bunch. Have fun with MO.
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2016-06-15 18:56:09 CDT (-0500)
here’s a thought …
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2016-06-15 18:31:25 CDT (-0500)

instead of wasting time arguing about something that you won’t win, why not just post the damn photo? you know you have one. and it doesn’t have to be an award-winning one, either.

after all, it takes time just to post these data-free obsies here.

with a photo, no problem. without a photo, it’s a theory. an unsubstantiated theory at that.

aren’t we trying to get away from the “old ways” of undocumented lists, which cannot be challenged, disproved or proved, other than “I said so?” And are absolutely worthless for distributions, because they CANNOT BE VERIFIED.

no one is right all the time. no one.

so either post a real obsie, or play elsewhere. unless you enjoy this heaping of scorn on your heads? no such thing as bad publicity?

I suppose if you whine loud enough to the MO creators, they’ll throw you a bone. and of course, they really do want to make a space for everyone (which is admirable, really), but c’mon boys, we KNOW you can do better, and you obviously have the time to do it right from the outset!

how bout the rest of us just continue to raise the bar? I’m with you guys, and that is exactly what makes MO great and useful, despite the various kinks in the system, chronicled by Igor below.

sad really. Chrysomphalina aurantiaca is such a pretty mushroom, too, and lots of folks have never seen one.

It never will be posted…
By: Byrain
2016-06-15 18:19:43 CDT (-0500)

It was never collected, photographed or studied. These observations exist only because Christian and Noah do not understand even the basics behind the scientific method or have enough self-respect to admit when they are wrong.

Additionally I don’t think the site owners have weighed in on this issue much or even really paid much attention to it. The guidelines on imageless observations are those that were created by myxomop as a means to shut up anyone that did not approve of these observations. They are not valid reasons and MO deserves better especially when other sites such as bugguide.net can so clearly show how they do far better with disallowing imageless observations. They have the userbase to back that up while we have lost many good users to drama which is entirely not moderated…

Now I am not entirely unreasonable, there is room for compromise here, enough to satisfy even the least honorable of us. However no one has bothered to comment on the appropriate place for this discussion.


Right now the only purpose this observation serves is to contaminate the occurrence map with yet another garbage observation that can not be easily segregated and never will be verifiable. Especially when we have observations such as obs 236436 where the DNA and established species concept disagree. Is this another one of these? We will never know…

Chaos and anarchy on MO
By: I. G. Safonov (IGSafonov)
2016-06-15 18:14:00 CDT (-0500)

This otherwise useful database is cluttered with a bevy of items that reduce MO’s value and appeal, e.g., “imageless” observations; “locationless” observations; unsupported hypothetical collections; meaningless, unscientific names and ridiculous labels (anyone can create them with impunity); misspelled deprecated names; observations featuring poorly taken photographs; and, occasionally, inappropriate user names. I am not surprised, as the entropy rules the universe and nothing is immune to it. There are ways of taking all this clutter out, but it takes energy and resolution to accomplish this. Yet, I am still hopeful. In the mean time clashes between individuals of opposing views will continue. Oh well…

By: David Rust (incredulis)
2016-06-15 17:32:42 CDT (-0500)

where do you go with that? No way out of this pit, unless the photo gets posted…

Still wrong
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2016-06-15 17:26:23 CDT (-0500)

… and directly contradicting the stated appropriate usage guidelines established by the site’s creators, so it doesn’t really matter.

So with all due respect (not sure how much that really is at this point), counter-nope.

By: David Rust (incredulis)
2016-06-15 17:15:10 CDT (-0500)

I feel strongly that standardization of posting, WITH IMAGES, is an important contribution. Anything less, with no vouchers, is just trash. Byrain’s right. I’m right.

By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2016-06-15 16:43:21 CDT (-0500)

you’re wrong. You’ve been wrong.
I’m not explaining it again.

It’s still good info
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2016-06-15 16:07:06 CDT (-0500)

Helps add spots on the distribution map.

Not really
By: David Rust (incredulis)
2016-06-15 15:00:01 CDT (-0500)

Science is a process, a method of inquiry commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence. No evidence (a photo), no science, no record, no use later. Can’t be challenged. Observer is a forum for observations. I don’t see one here, just some field notes.

I expect better
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2016-06-15 14:54:33 CDT (-0500)

understanding from the president of NAMA, but then again, perhaps this explains a great many things…

Nothing’s for certain
By: David Rust (incredulis)
2016-06-15 14:33:38 CDT (-0500)

without a photo and vouchered specimen, without which, this is pure speculation!

Please do not trash these observations
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2016-06-15 14:26:19 CDT (-0500)

These observations are useful – we can know that a certain mushroom was in a certain place at a certain date. They are even more useful with photos, but still useful without.

They help fill out the distribution maps.

Not useful.
By: Byrain
2016-06-15 14:20:06 CDT (-0500)

There is no reason to keep these observations, they should be trashed. They can never be confirmed or corrected and can only serve to pad the mycological literature with eternally uncorroborated information.

Created: 2013-11-16 21:16:46 CST (-0600)
Last modified: 2016-07-29 12:27:39 CDT (-0500)
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