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Colchester Historeum presentation focusing on the magic of mushrooms

The destroying angel is one of the most poisonous mushrooms found in Nova Scotia. Dr. Bruce Gray, who taught plant pathology and mycology at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, will be sharing information on mushrooms found in the local area.
The destroying angel is one of the most poisonous mushrooms found in Nova Scotia. Dr. Bruce Gray, who taught plant pathology and mycology at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, will be sharing information on mushrooms found in the local area. - Contributed
TRURO, N.S. —

Food, medicine or poison; a mushroom can be any of these.
During a presentation at the Colchester Historeum, Dr. Bruce Gray will be sharing information on wild mushrooms and how to identify some. 
“Mushrooms like fall and rainy weather, so it’s a good time to hunt them,” he said. “Looking for them and trying to identify them can be interesting, but you really have to know mushrooms to know what ones are safe to eat.”
Gray has a PhD from McGill University and taught plant pathology and mycology at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College for 25 years. 
“I’ll show people some of the mushrooms that are pretty easy to identify,” he said. “Some of the safe ones have poisonous look-alikes, and there are so many it’s hard to know them well.
“There are some very good books with identification keys, and if you learn to use those you can ID them pretty safely.”
One of those found in Nova Scotia is the destroying angel, a white mushroom often mistaken for harmless meadow and button mushrooms. 
Gray will talk about medicinal uses for mushrooms growing in the area.
“A lot of people are becoming interested in those,” he said. “There are claims they improve the immune system and alleviate certain diseases. Anyone planning to use them for medicinal purposes should talk to their doctor and check the Health Canada website (http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=mushrooms.champignons&lang=eng).”
Gray will also be talking about hallucinogenic mushrooms, which were decriminalized in Denver, Colorado earlier this year.
The presentation Are All Mushrooms Magic? Mycology & Foraging in Nova Scotia, begins at 7 p.m. this evening (Thursday) at the Colchester Historeum. Admission is $5 per person, or free for Colchester Historical Society members.

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