by Brady Raymond
photos by Paul Hill. View all of Paul’s burn photos at Seattle Roamer and don’t forget to check out his other mushroom photo albums.
An uneasy feeling sets in walking around a landscape like this, the stark desolation envelops you, cutting through to the bone. It is a reminder of the inevitable, the reality of our own mortality. After walking around a few minutes you find your first mushroom, not a morel but a mushroom none the less. As you are examining it your hunting buddy shouts “I found one!” you toss your find aside and start to make your way in their direction. They shout again “Got two, three, they’re everywhere!” You tell yourself to slow down, you look up, take a deep breath and look back down. “They’re everywhere!” you shout. For the next couple of hours you fill your basket as giddy laughs echo through the forest. This is burn morel hunting, you’ve heard the stories and now you’re doing it.
Not a post card perfect setting, but there are treasures contained within this stark landscape just waiting to be found.
New PSMS members Mike and Alyssa’s first morel find.
by Brady Raymond
PSMS held it’s second field trip of the year on 5-7-16 in the greater Cle Elum area. It was a well attended affair and there were no complaints in the weather department. We looked around a few miles out from the meet up place and although conditions seemed perfect we found no morels and not much else of the fungal persuasion. Erin and I were out this way a couple weeks earlier and things were for the most part the same, conditions were good but little to no mushrooms. This all took place in the elevation range of 2200-2700ft.
by Danny Miller
This month’s Mushroom of the Month is one that is probably already on everybody’s mind… the Morel!
Mushroom hunting comes in two seasons here in the Pacific Northwest, spring and fall. Most of our mushrooms prefer the fall, it is the bigger of the two seasons, but spring is the time to hunt for many people’s favourite mushroom, the morel!
Morels are great to hunt for, because they are pretty easy to learn to identify, unlike the hundreds of common gilled mushrooms that all seem to look alike. Make sure you learn the colour and shape of the true morel, though, as some people confuse them with the deadly poisonous Gyromitra esculenta and G. infula, which usually look more like a brain or a saddle on a stick, respectively. Even closer looking is Verpa bohemica. A Verpa, however, does not have the bottom of its cap attached to the stem, but a true morel does. A Verpa also has a stuffed stem, but a morel stem is hollow.
This is the first in a 4-part series on the fungi of Hawai’i from a Pacific Northwest perspective. This article provides an introduction to fungi in Hawai’i. The following articles discuss edibles and fungi with psychedelic properties, mycology in Hawai’i, and the connection between Hawai’i and the Pacific Northwest.
In the years leading up to my move to Hawai’i Island in 2014, my interest in fungi was growing, and I knew I would continue my hobby after I moved. I wondered about the mushroom culture in Hawai’i: when and where to forage, what the edibles were, and who was studying mycology.
I asked members in PSMS and attendees of the 2014 NAMA gathering in Eatonville their thoughts. Despite nearly uniform replies—there are few good edibles, it’s hard to find anything at all, there’s not much going on—I was not deterred. Many areas receive plenty of precipitation, therefore, there must be plenty of fungi and people interested in them, I reasoned.