Nhu writes, "Delicate mushrooms need extra protection in the field and a tackle box serves this purpose beautifully." (Nhu's original picture with species identification is here.)
As I understand it, Nhu is a microbiology grad student at UC Berkeley. Nhu writes, "Every fall, professors and students of fungi from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and SFSU gather in Mendocino for an exciting foray. Mushrooms are gathered during the day and at night they are sorted and displayed by taxonomic groups. It is a fun event which I look forward to each year."
Those women are smelling the mushrooms. Nhu writes, "Smelling mushrooms is sometimes very useful in identification."
I took several biology classes when I was in college (but, strangely, not microbiology; I've always regarded that as a hole in my education). Scientific understanding of fungi has grown dramatically just since I was in college. I am woefully behind.
Thank you, Nhu!
ADDED: More Nhu in the comments:
Thanks so much Chuck for featuring my photos on your blog. I'd like to add that smelling fungi is sometimes very enjoyable. You sometimes get pleasant smells like fresh corn, sweet maple syrup, or even cedar. Other times you get rotten fish or bleach.
If anyone is interested in seeing fungal/mushroom diversity, I'd highly recommend the 39th Annual Fungus Fair at the Oakland Museum. You can ask the volunteers at the booth to show you all the ones that are aromatic. It is quite fun. :)