Can you tell the difference between a head of cabbage and a head of lettuce? Then you can safely pick and eat some wild mushrooms. The key is to learn to identify a few easily identifiable delicious species, and then stick with these easy ones for a while. This book does a fantastic job of holding your hand every step of the way. It gives you reliable rules for learning 10 or so yummy and safe mushrooms. I wish I had this book when I was first starting out. It is a great substitute for going out with an expert.
Rule number 1: never, never take a mushroom with gills!!! This is our life insurance.
Rules number 2: Only take mushrooms with tubes, spines and ridges and the mavericks portrayed in this book. This means thoroughly understanding the information on pages 18-27 of this book.
Rule number 3: Only eat mushrooms which you have clearly identified with ALL of the positive ID marks. The mushrooms you take must be a certain size in order to show all the identification marks. In their baby stage, so to speak, some deadly and poisonous mushrooms are almost indistinguishable from harmless species.
These are summer ceps. However all ceps, summer or autumn, show a fine white network on the top of the stem right underneath the tubes.