Welcome to Bill Petty's website on Florida fungi and all things mycological in the Sunshine State. Bill has been an avid amateur mycologist for years, photographing and writing about mushrooms, particularly in the Florida Gulf Coast region where he lives. Bill's articles have been published in Mushroom Journal, and some of his award-winning photos appear in the Slide Catalog section of this website.
Bill is also a certified (by University of Florida/IFAS) Master Gardener and Master Naturalist in Wakulla County, Florida.
As of December 2009, Bill has also become president of the Sarracenia chapter (Wakulla County) of the Florida Native Plant Society.
He also serves on the board of CCOW (Concerned Citizens of Wakulla).
Several times a year, Bill presents Mushroom Walks at Birdsong Nature Center in rural south Georgia. Participants enjoy a slide show and brief talk about fungi, then Bill leads them out into the woods with their baskets to gather any mushrooms they can discover. At the end of the trek, fungi specimens are identified, and the good edibles cooked and tasted back at the Birdsong Center. As a member of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) and the Gulf States Mycological Society, Bill has also hosted a Gulf States summer foray at Wakulla Springs State Park in Wakulla County, Florida.
Bill has an M.A. in Mathematics from Florida State University and is a retired Data Systems Engineer. He lives in rural Wakulla County in north Florida on 10 acres of woodland with his wife Anne, novelist and Tolkien scholar (www.annepetty.com).
Says Bill: "It's very rewarding to go out into the woods, book and basket in hand, to find and identify Florida's prolific fungi. If you're knowledgeable about what you find, it's also satisfying to make tasty recipes with your collected edible specimens. However, eating wild mushrooms without expert confirmation of the mushroom type can be risky or even deadly. Collecting and identifying can be enjoyable for anyone, but don't eat the mushrooms you gather unless you are absolutely certain of their identity."
That said, we hope you enjoy your trek through Florida Fungi. See you on the trail . . .