Under the leadership of Robin and Mary Ann, 22 people attended the first mushroom meeting at Deschutes Library in Bend on April 30. Due to technical difficulties, Linda could not show her CD of spring mushrooms. Most of those who attended want to participate in an organized club with meetings at least during fruiting seasons, maybe more often. Several folks from that meeting have been carpooling to mushroom hunting spots during the weekdays. If you are interested in being part of this, contact Mary Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. A committee of techies is making plans for a website and other social media that will let us upload photos and keep in touch easier. Robin, Vivien and others are working on organization of a local club.
Thank you to “Jim” who filled in with his experiences as a commercial picker and a successful mushroom harvester in many states. Quite a science to time the season’s fruiting. His use of NOAA close-up weather maps to see where the warm days and nights may have warmed the ground was very interesting.
A second mushroom club meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, 7 PM, in the Campus Community Building (CCB) next to the library, downstairs in room 116. Yeah! Mary Ann says to bring your mushrooms to show off (at least a picture!) and mushroom stories and advice to share. I should be able to show my slides because the room is wired for media.
See you there!
The morels are starting!
There are three generous people who have offered to get a club started here. Robin B. and Mary Ann H. will lead the organizational meeting on Saturday, April 30, at the Bend downtown branch of the Deschutes Public Library. We will meet from 2-4 pm and invite all who would like to help get a club started. The club would meet regularly (monthy?) and have seasonal field trips led by volunteers, educational events and speakers. Here is your chance to meet others who have been bitten by the mushroom bug. Here is your chance to share your mushroom knowledge, not your mushroom spots, with beginners. I (Linda) plan to show some slides of spring mushrooms and talk briefly about habitat after the business meeting. Hope to see you there!
Where is spring? Has anybody seen much at the lower elevations? I think it will be a late season! Please inspire us with your post if you have some news.
Reports are coming in from the Willamette Valley and from the Umpqua area that winter chanterelles are in abundance. Also hedgehogs and black trumpets, all good eating and easy to identify. Looks like a trip over the pass is in order! What are you finding?
Black trumpets seem to refer to both Craterellus fallax and Craterellus cornucopioides, also called Horn of Plenty. These are not easy to see in the forest, but are worth the effort!
Hedgehogs start fruiting as soon as the weather turns cold and may continue through the winter months if you are lucky, especially along the coast. They look like yellow chanterelles from the top, but if you turn them over – yes, little teeth on the underside of the cap. Very easy to identify and very tasty!
This may be a recession, but Oregon truffles are attracting those who are willing to pay for their wonderfulness. Those who attended the Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene on Jan.28-29 were delighted, even if they only attended the market. The festival offered truffle hunting field trips, truffle growing seminar, truffle dog training, truffle cooking lessons with reknown chefs, truffles and wines, incredible meals, and more. Put it on your calendar in December for 2011 because it sold out this year even with the festival packages costing $525-1050 per person. The grand dinner was only $175 and the market most affordable with a $20 entrance fee.
Here are Bob C.s comments on his market experience:
I went to the truffle fest, but only the marketplace. Everything else is too expensive. There were lots of truffles for sale. There were great samples of truffle butters, truffle desserts and fancy foods. Premrose, famous for winning the 2010 chocolate fest in Ashland with their rasperry rose chocolate made a white truffle white chocolate truffle. It was great! I had lots of black trumpets so I brought some for friends from CMS who were there. One of the truffle sellers gave me a few black truffles in exchange. There were several local farmers, free range meat vendors and artisan cheesemakers there (all with really great samples!). Best of show in cheeses for me was a truffle cheese. Missionary chocolates was there with several flavors including their signature meyer lemon truffle. 2 coffee roasters were there and several other vendors, all with free samples.
Many of you have seen these before, but if you haven’t, take the time to view them. They will inspire you to continue your mushroom education!
We attended the Mt. Pisgah mushroom show and were amazed at the variety of specimens this year, especially in the Bolete family. Such a wonderful place to go for those of us hungry for mycological excitement. At least five highly skilled mushroom identifiers worked the identification tables and I stayed as close as possible, peering over their shoulders and listening. David Arora was there again to sign books and play his spin-the-wheel-for-a- mushroom-story-and-win-a book game. Quite entertaining. Though it poured the night before, Sunday was a delightful day without a drop. Good music, good food and great mushrooms on display! Thank you, Cascade Mycological Society.
Amanita smithiana (www.mushroomexpert.com)
I was called on my cell phone on Monday, Oct. 25, by a woman in Hood River, OR, who had mistaken what she now believes was an Amanita smithiana for a Matsutake mushroom. I have attached both pictures. Please study them. Remember that the intense rain has been altering the typical Amanita characterisitcs, not that smithiana is a typical Amanita in the first place. It is not uncommon to find it where we hunt Matsutakes.
This isn’t the first time I have seen these two mushrooms confused, but this is the worst result so far. The woman had given it to a friend who became very ill that evening, throwing up for a very long time. The friend felt much better and would not go to the hopital despite urging from her gift-giver and the poison control center. Unfortunately she had eaten the whole mushroom with nothing left to identify. The mushroom picker was frantic to get someone who knew mushrooms to talk with her friend about getting medical attention. Somehow she got my number off the internet. With more information from great mushroom websites on toxins and continual supportive coaxing, the victim finally called back to say she was on the way to the hospital. Two days later she is still in the hospital with serious kidney issues that may require dialysis soon.
A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. It is so easy to get over-confident. Please look carefully at each and every mushroom you plan to eat. If something looks a little different and you choose to eat it anyway, at least save a little of the cap for identification purposes should they be necessary. And most of all, don’t trust the mushrooms that someone else gives you unless you are totally knowledgeable of what you are eating. Those of you who are generous and picked too many, don’t feel insulted that your families or friends don’t eat your gifts. You can teach them over time. Just enjoy them yourself and prepare them for another day by freezing or drying. In the excitement of the hunt, you can get “pickin’ happy.” But the responsibility for your life and health or worse, someone who you really care about’s health, can never be taken lightly. The mushrooms will be back! Take your time and learn them well!
Anyone who would like to carpool on Sunday, Oct. 31, to Eugene for the mushroom show, post your email or contact number here so others can connect with you for a ride. The show runs from 10 am to 5 pm. A $5 entry fee is charged at the gate. A bus shuttle is available if you follow the signs when you near Mt. Pisgah Arboretum.