Fried eggs on english muffins with oyster mushrooms and fresh herbs
by Erin & Brady Raymond
Saute the oyster mushrooms in butter on medium high until they start to look crispy. Once they look done, put them on a plate with a paper towel to soak up the excess butter while cooking the eggs and toasting the english muffins. This breakfast comes together pretty quickly and the fresh parsley and thyme really set it off.
Often times keeping it simple yields delicious results, case in point. It was exciting to find our first oysters of the year too, and that surely made such a simple recipe that much more rewarding. We noticed a number of small oysters growing on a log, too small to harvest, just before we found this nice little clump (pictured below). The weather has been perfect as of late and I’m sure anyone who takes the time to look for dead Alder trees will find themselves eating some oyster mushrooms too.
It’s a Peziza, right?
by Brady Raymond
Fungal diversity in the PNW is lower in the spring than in the fall, yet interesting mushrooms are to be found for those willing to look. To be fair, our regions mycofloral diversity is only lacking in the fruiting bodies, the mycelium of all the fall players still lurks below our feet and imbedded deep within dead wood, building and storing energy for their inevitable fall flush.
Don’t forget to check out the Union Bay Natural Area just behind The Center for Urban Horticulture, also known as the Montlake Fill. A great place for a stroll with the family, make sure to bring your binoculars as it is one of Seattle’s best birding hotspots.
For more info check out their website, Union Bay Natural Area
by Kim Traverse, Current PSMS President
When I started volunteering I was more willing than able but soon learned that I was more able than I had thought. My efforts were appreciated by people I valued and respected and that just happened to make me feel pretty good. I was quickly hooked. Many of the best experiences of my life have happened during the times I was volunteering. Some of the most interesting, fun and instructive things that have happened to me happened while I was trying to help something along that seemed like a good idea.
Volunteering can bring out the best things about us all. When we are not thinking about personal gain but the good of a something worthy of our efforts there is something refreshingly pure and simple about our efforts. The focus on a good outcome we all agreed upon sweeps away a lot of debris. And volunteering for PSMS has some extra pluses: we have a great mission- we share the wonders of the Fugal Kingdom on many levels with other people, (most of whom are pretty surprised by what they learn), and we get to do all this with a group of people who are unfailingly a joy to work with. Sure, we can argue about the details- we are not a bunch of saints, but we get the job at hand DONE and we have a great time doing it. Something to learn at every step. I started out with PSMS gluing circulation card pockets in our library books. Not exciting maybe but it got me thinking about the way the books were catalogued which led to becoming librarian and reorganizing the library. That led to serving on the Board and then to chairing the annual show. All along the way there have been opportunities not just to get things done but to simplify, make easier and generally improve things. Satisfying work, I say. And plenty of it to go around- there are lots of things that always need doing and PSMS is an organization that supports volunteers with good ideas about what else needs to get done.
by Brady Raymond
photos by Daniel Winkler
The Bridle Trails Survey is underway and shaping up to be a unique opportunity, not only to hone your mushroom identification skills, but also to participate in a bit of citizen science to better understand our region’s funga. The two main goals for this project are to hopefully christen the next generation of mushroom identifiers and to preserve specimens for the herbarium.
A lot of work has to be done before this project can fully take flight, this includes creating a custom voucher sheet for the study as well as a system for filing of specimens. Linking all the data to specimen photographs and making it available online needs to be figured out as well. Creating a curriculum and a way of testing knowledge is also important in churning out the next generation of identifiers.
by Brady Raymond
Animal is the man.
The 2017 mushroom season is upon us. Before we know it the rain will start to ease up, the sun will shine, temperatures will rise and mushrooms will grow. And if you’re lucky, experienced or a bit of both your baskets should be full of morels and spring porcini in the coming months. What better way to start the season than to celebrate our success of the past year and to and get excited for the fun to come. The Survivors Banquet is that celebration, good people and good food, good drink and good cheer were had by all.
It should be mentioned that events like this would not be possible without the help from all the volunteers. PSMS is an all volunteer organization, without volunteers nothing would get done, to everyone who volunteered for this event thank you. With that being said an especially big thanks goes to Animal, this guy can do it all and when he sets out to complete a task he nails it every time (think Ben Woo Foray, cultivation classes).
Keep a look out for interesting mushrooms year round. The cold of winter and hot dry summers don’t usually scream mushrooms but whispers of them do exist for the observant.
A Pep Talk for Beginners
by Brady Raymond
February at first thought doesn’t usually bring to mind mushrooms here in the PNW, but it is a great time to start honing your skills for the months to come and the bounty that is sure to follow (hopefully). The winter months do yield some mushrooms to find and although usually more scarce this time of year, it can be less distracting for someone trying to learn mushrooms. During prime season it is tempting to trek one more bend on the trail, or cross the next ridge in hopes of finding that forty pound Sprassis or basketful of Boletes but if you’re new to mushrooming why not get a head start on learning the basics about mushrooms now.
One of the first things a newcomer should do is obtain a reputable book on the subject. If you are unfamiliar where to start PSMS sells books at our monthly meetings and at our annual spring and fall shows. It is recommended to get a book that encompasses your area and I would recommend having a couple books if funds allow. Here is a link to a previous post I wrote talking about books a little more; Where to Start, Tips and Tools for Learning Mushrooms.
The North American Mycological Association recently announced the winners of the 2016 photo contest. PSMS Vice President, Daniel Winkler, was awarded first and second place in the Pictorial category!
First place: Boletus reticuloceps
Second place: Ceratiomyxa sphaerosperma
Congratulations Daniel! You can see the rest of the winners here.
PSMS member Denise, is currently on an extended trip around the world with her husband and is documenting their experiences on their blog. She recently saw Cyttaria darwinii while on a tour through Tierra del Fuego National Park, which is accessed from Ushuaia, Argentina, at the southern tip of South America.
Check out the full post on Denises’ blog here: Notes from the sunny side of the world – Cyttaria darwinii
Exploring Psilocybin as a Tool for Modern Psychology and Medicine
Tuesday February 7th, Center for Urban Horticulture 7:30 PM
Research on psychedelics as an aid in the treatment of mood and substance use disorders has generated renewed interest over the past decade. Recent pilot studies have shown safety and feasibility of psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic found in some mushrooms of the genus Psilocybe, as a therapeutic tool in the treatment of depression, end-of-life anxiety, alcohol, and tobacco use disorders. Moreover, data suggest a notable effect of psychedelics in occasioning profound and lasting changes in mood, behaviors, and attitudes consistent with enhanced health and well-being. Despite these compelling findings, the mechanisms of action of psychedelic-facilitated treatments remain poorly understood. Preliminary evidence indicates that spiritual and mystical-type drug effects are associated with positive outcomes in psilocybin-facilitated treatments, consistent with early researchers’ observations that the subjective effects of psychedelics play a pivotal role in mediating ongoing benefits. This discussion will present an overview of contemporary research with psilocybin, with a focus on the work conducted since 2000 at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D. is a member of the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he studies the effects of psychedelic drugs in humans with a focus on psilocybin as an aid in the treatment of addiction. He received his doctorate in psychology from the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA where he researched self-transcendence, meditation, and altered states of consciousness.