2014 CMS Photo Contest Winners

The results are in! This year there were four winners for the annual CMS Photo Contest.

Mycena subcana and Xeromphalina campanella decomposing a conifer stump

Coexist: Mycena subcana and Xeromphalina campanella decomposing a conifer stump by Mike Potts

Hydnellum peckii

Hydnellum peckii by Kris Jacobson

Coprinopsis lagopus by J. D. Bryan

Coprinopsis lagopus by J. D. Bryan

Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus by Elaine Owen

The winners will receive a Cascade Mycological Society Limited Edition T-Shirt, as well as special recognition at the 2014 Fungal Feast. A big thanks to all who participated for your interest and the fine photographs.

The False “Beefsteak” Morel (Gyromitra esculenta)

Article by Bruce Pandoff
Included here with permission by equip2endure.com

It is mushroom season in many parts of the US and morels are some of the most prized popping up at this time. They are considered easy to identify but there are some potentially deadly lookalikes growing in the forest and making their entrance at the same time. The false morel, commonly known as Beefsteak Morel, or Gyromitra esculenta is one of these such poisonous mushrooms and is a common mushroom for beginning mycophagists (mushroom hunters) to poison themselves with.

Before consuming any mushroom I highly recommend seeking the in person tutelage of an expert in the field of mycology or otherwise foraging expert. Look for groups and clubs that often are lead by these experts. Check bulletin boards at libraries, civic centers, college universities, and local co-op stores for such postings by these groups seeking members. If all else fails, search the internet for a local group. I am adamant about the seeking of experts and will rarely teach about edible mushrooms except for a very small selection for the simple fact that there are expert mycologist that poison themselves each year where as I gladly teach others about plants as this phenomenon with mycologists rarely happens with botanists. As you progress always keep in mind, there are old mycophagist and there are brave mycophagist, but there are no old brave mycophagist. Often how we find out if a mushroom is poisonous is due to those brave souls finding out for us and the mycological community learning from the toxicology report. Venture forth carefully.

Here is the poisonous lookalike of the prized morel, Gyromitra esculenta. It often grows under conifers such as balsam, pine and spruce. Fruiting bodies (mushrooms) may be found in spring but summer and fall are the predominate fruiting periods.

The mushroom from a distance or to the beginner may look like a morel, but upon closer inspection key identifying features will be revealed. The surface is not truly pitted, it is wrinkled, folded, and convoluted where as true morels will be pitted like a sponge.

The stem may be white, cream, or have a slight yellow tint. When cut open the stem is solid though may have air pockets. A true morel will be hollow all the way through.

It had previously been thought that these mushrooms could be parboiled, the water discarded, to be made edible but recent evidence indicates that this is in no way a reliable method of removing all the poisons. This species and other false morels cause poisoning through a compound known as Monomethylhydrazine which is found in jet fuel. When poisoned, the victim’s symptoms will be delayed anywhere from six to twelve hours. Eventually, fatigue, headache, abdominal pain, and occasionally watery diarrhea may occur. In more extreme cases, liver damage, delirium, and occasionally death will occur. There are no antidotes as of yet. There are plenty of other edibles to learn out that do not requiring doctoring to be made edible making Gyromitra not worthwhile.

Note: Before consuming any wild vegetation or plants please consult an expert. This is for informational purposes only!

Radical Mycology

Peter McCoy is seeking contributions for a new book on the current state of the field of mycology. In short, the book will be a user friendly guide to the entire fungal kingdom, exploring its many ecological roles as well as the ways that humans can cultivate and interact with the various forms of fungi found around the world. The book will also highlight the various aspects of mycology that are “cutting edge,” in need of citizen scientist contribution, or are otherwise exciting for those new to the field. The book will be both entertaining as well as technical and instructional. He is looking for information, suggestions, and/or contributions in the following areas:

  • Current or future fields of research on mychorriza that are exciting, pressing, or considered a “big unknown.”
  • Common, interesting, popular, edible, medicinal, or utilitarian fungi found in your part of the world. Names, photographs, and information on the best practices for harvesting, identifying, and using them as well as when and where to find them.
  • Information on local traditional uses of fungi and lichens in your part of the world (ethnomycology)

He is also looking to interview people that have knowledge in these areas. Contact Peter at radmycology@gmail.com to lend a hand.

CMS Meeting: “Mushrooms of the Oregon Dunes”: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Anna Moore  “Mushrooms of the Oregon Dunes”  Speaker for February 2014

Anna Moore
“Mushrooms of the Oregon Dunes” Speaker for February 2014

At the CMS February meeting, Anna Moore will present her informative talk Mushrooms of the Oregon Dunes. Anna has a science background and a love of the natural world. She retired from UC Berkeley in 2005 where she worked in Environmental Compliance, and now spends much of her time on the Oregon coast hiking and foraging in the unique Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. She has been interested in Read more »

CMS Meeting: “Plants that Eat Truffles for Lunch” Thursday, January 9, 2014

dan laumaDr. Dan Luoma, professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, will describe the fascinating interactions between forest plants and their associated mushroom and truffle fungi. Dr. Daniel Luoma received his B.S. in Physical Geography from the University of Oregon and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecological Plant Geography from Oregon State University.  Dan’s teaching includes general mycology, workshops and field courses on forest mycology, and readings in fields of mycorrhizae and small mammal mycophagy. His research covers several integrated research projects in the field of Read more »

2014 Photo Contest

by Sandy Patton

Chicken of the Woods by Sandy Patton

Cascade Mycological Society is again having a mushroom photo contest. We invite you to submit photos related to mushrooms, mushroom culture, or any other area of mushroom interest. The submitters of the best three photos will Read more »

Mushroom Cultivation Presentation: November 14th

soul2grow logoCMS’ invited speaker(s) for November are former CMS board member Ryan Wolverton and his wife Priscilla.  Ryan is a graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in botany. They have a mushroom business called Soul2grow.com.

Soul 2 Grow is a collaborative effort between a Botanist/Mycologist and a Soil Scientist. Their academic training has provided them with a diverse skill set that has been sharpened through ten years of hands-on experience with growing and collecting plants and mushrooms in Oregon. Soul 2 Grow offers Read more »

Introducing Wild Mushroom Pinterest Board

Wondering what to bring to the CMS Cookbook Autumn Potluck or just looking for ideas on how to cook your fall mushroom haul? Visit our new Pinterest board for inspiration.

Already have a recipe everyone adores? Submit it online for possible inclusion in our 2014 Cascade Mycological Society Cookbook or email it, along with pictures, to webmaster@cascademyco.org. We’d love to hear from you.