Still Going…

IC Hericium abietis

Hericium abietis, Mmm, good.

by Brady Raymond

Fall 2017, is this a mushroom season anyone is going to really remember?  There are mushrooms to be found and an acceptable diversity, but any real quantity seems to be lacking.  Although, quantity is really only important if you are collecting for the pot either for consumption or dyeing.  2017 is probably not the year you would want to start a study on Russulas or Chanterelles.  I have only seen a handful of Russulas this year and most were what other folks had collected.  As far as Chanterelles are concerned the most I’ve seen in one place was the grocery store and they were selling for $17.98 at one point.  I have only found a few handfuls of them myself this year, enough though for Erin to make a few dishes, but none to share.

So, the big question, “Is the season over?”  Well, as evident from the above photo, no it is not.  There are still mushrooms to be found and as long as the weather stays mild as it has been for the last week or so we may be able to milk this season for a while.  I think it’s safe to say that over about 3,000ft. in our area, your chances of finding much of anything are probably limited.  The photo below was taken around 2000ft. and the snow line was not far above that.

IC mt.

The snow line was not far above our elevation of 2000ft.

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PSMS Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, November 14, 2017-7:30PM

Danny Miller presents

Mushroom Prejudice,

or “You would think that, you’re human!”

Danny Miller Mushroom Prejudice

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

Danny’s talk will be an entertaining take on human bias in mushrooming, how wrong we’ve been when trying to figure out what’s important about a mushroom, and how the things we dismiss as irrelevant often turn out to be the most important features. It includes some of the strangest and most surprising results to come out of DNA studies lately and he will piece together a bit of the history of the evolution of mushrooms shapes.

Danny Miller is the PSMS Librarian, Education Chair and one of Brian Luther’s ID Committee members and an emergency poisoning point person for King County Washington Poison Control. Danny also belongs to the PNW Key Council, a group of amateur and professional mycologists and is a co-author of MatchMaker with Ian Gibson, the free PNW mushroom ID program for the PC and MAC. He has a big interest in taxonomy and figuring out where all of the mushrooms fit into the fungal tree of life.

Ben Woo Waterfall 2017 Banner

by Brady Raymond

“Things are looking good” and “Things are good” are two very different statements.  As I stepped out of the car this year at the 2017 Ben Woo Memorial Foray my heart was filled with excitement.  My brain, on the other hand, was much more suspicious of what awaited us in the forests skirting Mt. Rainier this year.

“What’s the scoop?”  I asked Milton who was nearby as I hopped out of the car.

“Not good.”  He replied.

My heart sank a bit, surely there had to be something.  Once all the attendees arrive we’re bound to find mushrooms.  Over a hundred sets of eyes will be searching these woods, zigzagging and crisscrossing each others path.  My heart lifted a bit at the thought, but then froze as a few flakes of snow started to fall.  It’s just not the year I guess, not like last year, at the Ben Woo All Sound Foray.

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Things Are Looking Good?

H.r

Hydnum repandum, the Hedgehog, one of the “toothed fungi.”

by Brady Raymond

So far this fall, things are looking good for the would-be mushroomer trudging around our neck of the woods although “looking” is the operative word.  I can’t say I’ve had much luck with edibles this season but Phaeolus schweinitzii is fruiting very prolifically, at least in the places Erin and I have looked. We’ve found what I estimate to be right around twenty pounds over the last couple weekends, and a single specimen I found last Thursday while out dual sporting on some of my favorite forest service roads.

The edibles I’ve found thus far are limited to four Chanterelles, one Hedgehog, and some “past their prime” Sulfur Shelves.  Overall, the past couple of weekends things have been fairly sparse yet there is a definite progression to the season and each outing we’ve spotted a few more species than the last.  I expect this coming weekend to be spectacular as the temperature drops and precipitation moves in.   The forest itself though seems ripe to burst with bouquets of fungi and is probably doing so as I write this article.

L.s.

Laetiporus conifericola, the Sulfur Shelf or Chicken of the Woods.  The mushroom formerly known as L. sulphureus.  These were quite large, the column was about four feet tall.  These were definitely past their prime.

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Dye With Me

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by Brady and Erin Raymond

As the rains begin soaking in and temperatures start to drop don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled this fall for dye mushrooms.  We often get so consumed with finding the consumables we forget that mushrooms have other uses too.  If you are into cooking and you like crafting, specifically with animal fiber, dyeing with mushrooms may be right up your alley.  Here’s a quick run down and if you’re interested check out the links at the end of the post for more info.

yarn-rainbow

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Patterns In Nature

Paterns In Nature

by Brady Raymond

This article is intended as a preseason metaphysical mushrooming warm up.  As our summer edges closer to the inevitable rains of fall, I think it is important that we get our heads right.  What follows is my attempt at explaining to myself something about mushrooms.  What that is and if it is of any value to the reader is for them to decide.     

You don’t have to put a name on a mushroom to understand a mushroom.  Putting a name on it only identifies it, understanding a mushroom is a whole different thing.  Names help when communicating with other people about a given mushroom, but if you’re trying to understand it from a name alone good luck.

Experience only comes with time, the more time you spend with mushrooms the more you will start to understand them.  To fully grasp mushrooms takes time, and as your experience grows so too will your perception of the patterns which associate with fungi.   However, many patterns as soon as they start to form become disrupted, but if you broaden the scope of your perception, you may see the same or similar patterns start to reemerge.

When you can instinctively calculate the patterns around you and benefit from understanding them to find more mushrooms, you know you have moved from a novice to a novice+1.  It’s a long way to go to get to expert and there is a kind of scientific inflation if you want to get to pro.  Though, for many of us being a novice+1 is sufficient enough for what we hope to achieve.

Mt. Baker

Having a hunch may just be your brain telling you it is recognizing a pattern.  In a spot like this, what have you got to lose poking around a bit?

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Dyeing to Cross the Rainbow Bridge

AA DyeTuesday, September 12th- 7:30PM

 Monthly Meeting

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

It has been nearly 50 years since the first publication on using wild mushrooms to produce dyes for textiles. What started as a curious discovery by a natural dyer caught like wildfire through the 1970’s but then smoldered for another 20 years… until the dawn of social media. Alissa Allen will take us on a journey through the past, present and future of mushroom dyeing. She is an avowed mushroom missionary, spreading enthusiasm for mycology by enticing unsuspecting fiber enthusiasts to the darkest corners of the forest, in quest for color. On this journey, curious adventurers can’t help but be enchanted by the colorful and charismatic fungi along the way, and become entangled in the web of mycology. You will see magical transformation of color born from seemingly mundane mushrooms and learn new ways to illuminate the hidden spectrum found in your own fungal wonderland. Whether you are a fiber artist, a forager or a citizen scientist, mushroom dyes can work for you.

Alissa Allen is an amateur mycologist and the founder of Mycopigments. She specializes in teaching about regional mushroom and lichen dye palettes to fiber artists and mushroom enthusiasts all over the country. Alissa got her start right here at PSMS in 1999 and has been sharing her passion for mushrooms for over 15 years. She has written articles for her website as well as Fungi Magazine and Fibershed. In 2015 she created the Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United discussion group and The Mushroom Dyers Trading Post. These groups have grown into a community of over 5000 members. Alissa uses brilliant colors found in mushroom dyes to entice people to take a closer look at mushrooms and their relationship within the ecosystem. To read more about her work, visit http://mycopigments.com.

“Lepiota exudate”

 

Photo 4

The stems in the specimens at center and the caps in the specimens at left have changed color where the droplets were located before drying.

by Jeff Stallman

On a West Coast road trip in the summer of 2012, California was in the middle of one of its now-famous droughts. In dry Yosemite Valley, I joined a ranger-led walk to hear about the natural history of the area. Enjoying learning about unfamiliar trees and mammals, I was surprised when we happened along a large fruiting of chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sp.). Although the brown grass crinkled beneath our feet and many annual flowers were already deflated by the mid-summer heat, this fungus was fresh and covered with water droplets, nearly to the point where it was dripping on the ground.

This had always impressed me, and I occasionally shared the experience with others as one of those “aren’t fungi interesting and unexpected” stories, but did not think much of it again until years later when hunting in Hawaiʻi.

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