Winter Into Spring

 

Hyphloma?

If you want to learn about mushrooms gather round for Brian’s table tours at PSMS field trips.

by Brady Raymond

Morels are here, and that means it’s time to gear up and head out.  I have reports of landscape Morels being found in the Puget Sound lowlands and as warmer weather moves in we can start moving up into the mountains.  Landscape Morels are good but mountain Morels are better and probably cleaner too.  Make sure if you find landscape Morels to be discerning when picking them for the table.  Many urban landscapes are fouled with pesticides and other harmful contaminants, caution is urged when collecting near human populations.  If you are lucky enough to spot some locale landscape Morels count it as a good omen for the rest of the season.

Spring also means the beginning of the 2018 PSMS field trip season.  If you’ve been on field trips in the past you probably already know that it is one of the best ways to learn about mushrooms and if you haven’t been on a field trip let me reiterate, it is one of the best ways to learn about mushrooms.  There is no substitute for getting out in the woods and finding mushrooms first hand, taking in all of the peripheral clues and of course having access to one of PSMS’s most valuable resources, Brian Luther.

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What to Expect on a Fiel Trip Poster:Wren

Wren Hudgins, Chair, Field Trip Guiding Committee

New PSMS members (welcome to you) or infrequent field trip attendees may have varying expectations about our field trips. Although unexpected events can and do occur, the following represents how things generally happen on our trips. First, there is a lot of good information on our website, so be sure to read that.  The website also has a link to a page called “Harvesting Rules”. It would be good to review that page in advance, relative to the locale where the field trip will take place. You will find information about permit requirements if any, harvest limits, etc.

Unless specified otherwise, no reservations are necessary for any trip. Trips are for members and considered a member benefit. On occasion in the past, we have let members bring one non-member guest, once, as sort of a free trial, to see if they like the experience enough to join. If you are in that situation, ask Brian Luther, our Field Trip Chairperson, (and Identification Chairperson as well) if it’s OK to bring a friend once. Sometimes carpools can be arranged in advance via the group email lists. Members generally arrive at the trip site between 8am and 9am.

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PSMS Monthly Meeting Tuesday, April 10th

 

William Padilla Brown – Fungal Fortunes

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The field of mycology has never been more accessible to the public. With online forums, books from experts and workshops in almost all major cities in the U.S., we are seeing more and more ‘amateur mycologists’ contributing to our understanding of Fungi! William will be speaking on how he went from dropping out of high school to culturing wild mushrooms, starting a farm and learning how to grow Cordyceps militaris. Learn how fungi and mushrooms can be incorporated into whole system designs for the home/farm and community for food, medicine and remediation.

William Padilla-Brown had the opportunity to grow up traveling, living in England, Taiwan, Mexico, New York he now is back in his hometown of New Cumberland, PA. He is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur phycologist, urban shaman, poet and father to his beloved 3-year old son, Leo. Leaving high school at age 16, Will pursued a non-traditional, independent approach to learning and actively promotes alternative education. He holds Permaculture Design Certificates from Susquehanna Permaculture and NGOZI. In 2014, he established Community Compassion, a nonprofit focused on radical sustainability, based in New Cumberland, PA. In 2015 he founded MycoSymbiotics LLC – a mycological research and mushroom production business. He has raised over 30 types of mushrooms and 6 types of algae. He is driving mycological research in the areas of food production, mycoremediation and medicinal value. Will educates children and adults alike about topics ranging from nutrition to mushroom cultivation, having led workshops and various programs all over the country. Will is proud to be a contributing editor for Fungi Magazine, the foremost Mycological periodical.

Doors open at 6:30 pm at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Come early and bring any mushrooms you want identified!

Southwestern New Mexico

NM Lichen 1

by Brady Raymond

I couldn’t get the idea out of my head that Morel season may be starting early for me this year, as I jetted across western skies on my way south to Silver City, New Mexico.  I had found a few articles online about mushrooming down yonder but I couldn’t find much on the topic.  All I really had to go on was the weather and as things go around here, things down there seemed just about perfect.  For those of you interested only in mushrooms, I’ll be up front, I didn’t find much.  However, it was a good exercise in getting my eyes tuned up for the season albeit maybe tuned a little sharp as I was looking for cacti.

Silver City is located in Grant County in Southwestern New Mexico, it rests at 5900 ft. and is home to around 10,000 people.  I’ve visited this region some fourteen years earlier on a road trip with a friend just out of high school and things still looked pretty much the same.  One thing that caught my attention on this trip was the incredible abundance of lichen, all sorts of the stuff coating rock and tree alike.  I’m no lichen expert so these couple of photos will have to suffice, but trust me when I say it was everywhere, adding little splashes of color to the browns and grays that dominate the landscape.

NM Lichen 2

Lichen, lichen everywhere.

NM Emory Pass 8200ft.

Emory Pass 8200 ft.

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Color In The Dark Of Winter

Waxcaps In Seattle City Parks

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Hygrocybe aurantiosplendens

by Paul A. Hill

In the dark days of winter, I’m still thinking of mushrooms, but sometimes they are hard to find.  Luckily in January, I often start seeing Waxcaps in my local wooded city parks. I believe there are at least three species I have spotted over the years in Seward Park on Lake Washington in SE Seattle.  All of the following photos were taken in 2017.  A note on usage, Waxy Caps or Waxcaps are both names used for several related genera in Hygrophoraceae family.  Above is a picture of the common red Hygrocybe with lots of yellow, but little, if any white.  I identify it as H. aurantiosplendens, generally because of the colors and size.

The following photo is of a ragged H. aurantiosplendens showing the orange-red gills.  In January, I often come across these orange-red Hygrocybe which have become tattered.  It appears the mice and slugs in the park nibble on them through the winter.  Since these Hygrocybe seem to be the first ones up in January and there are not very many of them, they seem to suffer more nibbles then those which come up in larger numbers later in the winter.

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Hygrocybe aurantiosplendens, this specimen has seen better days.

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Roasted Chicken Chanterelle Carbonara

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by Erin Raymond

Ingredients used: Chicken, olive oil, pasta, chanterelle powder, egg, parmesan, salt, pepper, chili powder.

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First, I roasted a whole chicken rubbed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chanterelle powder.  I set the chicken on top of some carrots and onion to keep the chicken off the bottom of the pan.  You could also roast some chicken thighs if you do not want to roast a whole chicken.

When the chicken was almost done, I cooked the pasta.  In a medium bowl, I whisked 2 eggs with about a cup of grated parmesan and about 2 tablespoons of chanterelle powder.  Once the pasta was done and strained, I returned it to the pot, removed the pot from the heat and quickly whisked in the egg, cheese and chanterelle mixture.  Note:  it is important the pot is not too hot so you don’t scramble the egg mixture.

I topped the pasta with the roasted chicken, basil, some delicious Basque chili powder that I received for Christmas, a bit more parmesan and some salt and pepper.  The result was excellent and the chanterelle flavor really came through.  We will definitely be making this again in the future!

Bonus quick recipe:  Think of a recipe.  Add chanterelle powder.

 

Deviating From the Norm

Oxychilus draparnaudi?

Oxychilus draparnaudi, I think.  Keep reading to find out how I came to this conclusion.

by Brady Raymond

Well, folks, it’s perfect mushrooming weather, though unfortunately, it is January.  Now, that’s not to say there are no mushrooms to be found, but, it’s unlikely to yield much for the hungry mushroomer. I myself haven’t been out beyond walking my dog and the like. I have spotted some mushrooms but they are either desiccating or desiccated take your pick.  So, why not take an interesting deviation from the norm and talk about some other interesting lifeforms Mollusks, more specifically Gastropods of the land variety.

Why would Gastropods be of any interest to a mushroom hunter?  Most mushroomers I know posses at least in small amounts some degree of nerdism.  I would be willing to bet that if you’re still reading this article you may possess high levels of nerdism.  Undoubtedly you’ve encountered these creatures both in your yard or garden as well as our native habitats.  Heck, you probably have even picked a few off of some mushrooms at one time or another.  Plus, anyone interested in identifying mushrooms will feel at home trying to put names on Gastropods.  There are dichotomous keys similar to what you’d find in an ID book for mushrooms, breaking down different morphological features such as shell size, pneumostome placement on the mantle, flesh textures and mucus consistency.

Mollusk Overview

Mollusk is a Phylum of life residing in the Animal Kingdom. It is a diverse Phylum only exceeded in the Animal Kingdom by Arthropods. There are some 110,000 described species that make up the four main classes consisting of the Chitons, Bivalves, Cephalopods and the Gastropods.

Chitons-are the most primitive mollusks grazing on marine algae in coastal waters.

Bivalves-have hinged shells and filter the water for nutrients.  Mussels, Clams, and Oysters are examples of this group and they are an important species to people as a food source.

Cephalopods-are the most intelligent of the invertebrates.  They have sophisticated nervous systems and are quite mobile.  Many species skin contain chromatophores which allow them the ability to change color depending on mood or for concealment purposes.  Think Squid, Cuttlefish, and Octopus.  One can only imagine what they may evolve to be in 100 million years!

Gastropodsare the largest class of Mollusks.  Most are marine in nature where they evolved but others have adapted to freshwater and land.  Most Gastropod diets are vegetative but a few species are predatory.  Many Gastropods have shells yet others have lost their shells in the evolutionary process.  We will focus on land snails and slugs from here on.

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PSMS Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, January 9th  7:30pm

Greg Hovander Presents

Central Cascades Romp Through Mushrooms

Greg-Hovander

Doors open at 6:30 pm at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Come early and bring any mushrooms you want identified!

This stunning photographic presentation by mycologist, mountaineer, and naturalist Greg Hovander will present the diversity of wild mushrooms gracing the most pulchritudinous plethora of peaks in the Central Cascades between Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass, Washington. He will emphasize edible species and attempt to sharpen identification skills for the astute forager. You will accompany him through strenuous wilderness few people have ever been, up and down mountains east side of the Cascade crest in a circuitous route to properly capture the essence of one of the most beautiful real estates on Earth with its myriad of mushrooms, plants, and wildlife used to sustain him in his endeavor. If the audience looks trustworthy, he will share some of his concocted recipes for wilderness “thrival” before publishing them.

Greg Hovander is a native of Washington, living in Sultan, WA with his wife, working as the owner pharmacist of a small, independent pharmacy, Sultan Pharmacy & Natural Care, where he cares for patients in old-fashioned ways, including the identification of wild mushrooms and plants, use of natural products, and preparation of prescriptions. At age 70, he remains active climbing mountains, studying the wonders of nature, and sharing his enthusiasm for life with now countless audiences. Greg began his lifelong pursuit of mushrooms at the UW School of Pharmacy when offered a research job with radioisotopes for elucidating metabolic pathways utilized by certain mushrooms in producing mind-altering substances. He was the founder of the Skykomish Valley Mycological Society, and currently is a member of the Snohomish County Mycological Society and the Pacific Northwest Key Council.

Happy New Year!

Morel 2 5-13-17

Wow, it’s 2018!  That means we can move on from the dismal fall season of 2017 and start getting our heads right for the 2018 spring season.  And as we all know spring means, Morels.

Morels mean good times and great eating.  I can’t wait.