Collector's Outfit. - For collecting fungi there is nothing better than a cheap splint basket with a cover. The size will depend upon the ambition and strength of the collector. In addition, a chisel for woody fungi and a trowel or broad-bladed knife will be found convenient; also a few small boxes for fragile species, and a package of thin, tough, uncoloured paper in which other specimens may be put. Sheets of six inches square and also of twelve by twenty-four are convenient sizes. Before the specimens are put in the basket, those of a kind should be compactly piled in the centre of a sheet, and the four corners of the sheet brought together and fastened by twisting them. The slip with the notes may either be put inside the package or fastened on the outside.

Care of Specimens. - As soon as possible after reaching home, the packages should be taken from the basket and spread out in convenient places. If the specimens are to be used immediately for identification, begin with the most perishable, or they will be lost by decay. If they are to be preserved for future use, put them in the warmest place available where they will not burn. This may be under or over the kitchen stove, or in the furnace-room of the hotel or laundry; or, if any of these places is not practicable, then a drier may be improvised by placing over a lamp a frame made of wire screening.

Collecting Spores. - At least one specimen of each kind should be set for spores. This is readily done by thrusting the stem of one plant through a hole in a disk of gummed paper so that the paper fits closely against the gills. This disk may be held in place by thrusting the stem of the fungus through a piece of thin paper and then bringing the paper above the cap and twisting the corners. Use white disks for fungi suspected of having coloured spores, and coloured paper for those suspected of having white spores. If there is any doubt, set two fungi - one with a coloured disk and the other with a white one.

It is an easy matter to fix spores for future use, but a more difficult matter to fix them so that they represent a picture of the radiating gills. In order to do this the stem must be cut from the cap, and the cap must be so arranged over the paper that no draughts shall disturb the spores as they fall, and also so that it may be removed from the paper without disturbing the spores after they have fallen. The writer would suggest that two fine wires should be thrust horizontally and at right angles to each other through the cap, and that the ends of the wires should be supported in a convenient manner, so that the cap may just swing free from the paper which is to receive the spores. The whole must be covered to keep the spores from being disturbed by draughts. When the spores have fallen, the cover can be removed, the cap raised, and the spore-print fixed.

Various methods of fixing spores for prints are recommended. The following are quoted from a bulletin of the Boston Mycolog-ical Club :

The following directions for fixing sport prints are taken from Herpel ("Das Prapariren der Hutpilze").

Paper which is somewhat absorbent must be used; unglazed blue or black paper (of which the colour must be unaffected by the fixative) for white-spored species. The piece of paper bearing the spore print is to be laid, spores upward, in a flat plate or platter on which a thin layer of fixative has first been poured. The fixative is allowed to soak up through from below, and should not overflow the edges of the paper. When it is certain that the spores as well as the paper are thoroughly soaked, the preparation is removed and dried; sometimes, to prevent sticking, being laid on moistened blotting-paper.

The fixative to be used will vary with the species. For instance, the spores of Cantharellus cibarius and some others may be fixed by water alone. The following solution is recommended for Boleti and species with coloured spores: One part san-darac, two parts mastic, and two parts Canada balsam, dissolved in thirty parts of ninety-five per cent, alcohol. In the use of this it has been found that the time of soaking necessary to fix the spores is for Boleti, two minutes; Dermini, Coprinarii, Gomphidius, Paxillus, Russula, and Lactariuss four to five minutes; pink-spored agarics, also dark brown spored (as the meadow mushroom), and Cortinarii, six to eight minutes. It is important that the alcohol should be full strength.

A gelatine solution is useful for white-spored species. This is prepared and used warm. Its strength varies with the species. Lepiota procera, Collybia radicata, and Clitocybe laccata may be fixed by a solution of one part gelatine to thirty of water. For species of Tricholoma this is too strong, and one to sixty, or one to two hundred must be the formula. The difficulty arises here from the fact that an excess of gelatine makes the spores transparent and even invisible. Their opacity may be secured by previous treatment with a solution of one part mastic in thirty of ether.

For certain kinds {Tricholoma personatum, Lepiota granulosa, Amanitopsis vaginata, and others which experiment will discover), ten to twenty-five per cent, of alcohol must be added to the gelatine solution in order to make the spores adhere.

Experience will doubtless show that other fixatives may be used. Gum arabic, for instance, suggests itself. This, however, if strong, is apt to cake the spores together. If one method fails, invention and repeated trials must find a successful means. Reports are requested from all who engage in the amusement of making spore prints. To these a suggestion not without value is that dry agarics (like Marasmius and some Collybias) may be kept in a condition to shed spores by putting moistened blotting-paper under them.

Another method of making spore prints is to spray them from an atomizer with a solution of white shellac in alcohol. A saturated solution should be made, and then diluted fifty per cent, with alcohol.

The Search for a Name. - When looking up a name for a plant, the best plan is to use fresh specimens, and, if a good supply can be had, make a careful comparison of all, so as to be sure that the characteristics are normal and not due to injury. If the attempt to find a satisfactory description is not successful, preserve the specimens dried, together with full notes, and send a part of them to the State botanist for determination.

The name of a fungus is not the vital thing. In pursuit of a name do not neglect the plant. Observe it as it grows and in its different stages. Make a friend of it, and you will find it good company.

The Preparation of Rough-dried Plants for the Herbarium - Put the dried plants in a place where they will absorb just moisture enough to make them pliant. Either put them in a box containing something damp, as a wet sponge, sand, or paper; or spread them where they can absorb the moisture of the atmosphere without getting too wet. When pliant, bend the stem and cap so that they lie in the same plane, and arrange them in as natural a form as possible; then place them between driers of un-glazed paper, with a weight just sufficient to keep them from curling out of shape.

Mounting - The specimens may be placed loose in envelopes made by folding paper as for mosses or lichens, or they may be glued directly to mounting sheets, or they may be kept in boxes of varying sizes.

Sections - A section of a fungus is a very thin slice cut from the plant by running a thin-bladed knife from the top of the cap down through the stem. When well made, sections of young and mature plants are valuable in addition to the notes and dried specimens. A section to be of any value must show the form of the cap; the attachment of the gills to the stem; the thickness of the stem; and the interior, whether solid, hollow, or stuffed. To preserve the section, it must be placed, while fresh, upon a sheet of gummed paper, and then covered with a sheet of waxed paper, and placed between driers, under heavy pressure.

Poisoning Herbarium Specimens - It will be found necessary to use every means possible to keep insects from the herbarium, as fungi are particularly subject to such pests. In order that no eggs and larvae may be packed away with the dried plants, it will be well to apply a poisonous solution to the specimens just after they have been moistened to be put into press. Professor Peck, the State botanist of New York, uses a solution made by dissolving strychnine in warm water, and then adding alcohol in sufficient quantities to make the mixture spread easily with a brush.

Sulphate of strychnia....1/8 ounce

Warm water.....4 or 5 ounces

Alcohol.....About 2 ounces

In addition to this precaution, the specimens must be kept where insects cannot get at them, or the havoc which they make will be disastrous. An ingenious person can improvise all the apparatus necessary for a successful collection of moderate size; and then, if his enthusiasm continues, he can provide himself with everything of the most improved style from dealers who make a specialty of botanical supplies.