May Monthly Update
Hello from the board!
Hello again Madison Mycofriends! It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire month. I’m sure you’re (like us) tired of this pandemic pandemonium. We hope you are staying happy and healthy and that you’ve been able to get outside (with a healthy 6-foot distance from others) and enjoy some of the nicer weather we’ve been having, especially now that that Wisconsin State Parks are open again! Have you spotted any particularly charismatic Cerioporus sp? How about a mesmerizing morel? They’re starting to pop up! Share your photos on the Facebook group!
As mentioned in our April Update, we still have no idea when our next in-person meet up will be, and we are still committed to following the guidelines put out by the state to help prevent the spread of COVID. That being said – we would still love your input on what we can do in the coming weeks and months to continue to get you excited about mycology! Let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May Monthly Meeting – Show and Tell Happy Hour!
Our (virtual) May Monthly meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday May 19th from 6-7pm. For this month’s meeting we’d like to have a combined show and tell and happy hour. We’ll likely host this over zoom and will post a link on our social media for folks to join. Find a mushroom to show off or share a fungal story with us! Hope to see you there!
Mushroom of the Month: Dryad’s Saddle
Yes, we know May is Morel month in Wisconsin, but there haven’t yet been many sightings of those audacious ascomycetes in Dance county. So, we’ve picked another more-common May find as this mushroom of the month: Cerioporus squamosus (otherwise known as Dryad’s Saddle, Pheasant back, Watermelon mushroom, and other common names), and pictured above!
C. squamosus is a polypored, bracket-forming mushroom that smells vaguely of watermelon (or some folks say cucumber) that is generally considered edible, assuming the particular specimen isn’t too old. It typically grows on dead or dying hardwood trees and has white spores. Folks may also know this species as Polyporus squamosus (prior to that genus being split up). These mushrooms can be found in forests worldwide. If you’d like to learn more, you can visit the Wikipedia, Mushroom Expert, or Forager Chef pages about it. Oh and here’s a recipe for when you inevitably find too much while hunting for morels:
Easy Marinated Dryad’s Saddle
After trimming woody bits and slicing the mushrooms into one inch strips, soak the fungi pieces for an hour in cold water (pore side down) and drain after soak.Lay pieces pore side down in a baking dish in one layer.
Combine equal parts olive oil and vinegar (such as rice wine vinegar or sage infused apple cider vinegar) . Mix with 3 pulverized garlic cloves and add pepper and salt. Create enough marinade to cover the one layer of fungi in a baking pan.
Let marinate for eight hours.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes flipping once or twice during the bake. The fungi is finished when the marinade caramelizes and the edges of the fungi are toasty golden. Best served with nettles and potato.
Arboretum Mycoflora Project Workshops
In-person aspects are still on pause, but keep an eye out for future details about future Community Science events!
We are really excited to share that we’ve put together foray kits! Each kit is $25. In each kit you will receive:
- A copy of “Mushrooms in Your Pocket” from University of Iowa Press
- A mesh bag with the MMS logo
- A magnification loupe
- A sharpie
- Wax bags
If you’re interested in buying a foray kit we can ship or drop it off on your porch! Send us an email at email@example.com
Become a member of the Madison Mycological Society or RENEW your membership. Membership is only $15/year, $10/year for students, or $25 for partners/families. The fee helps the Board fund forays, programming, and a special event or two for the members. Lifetime memberships are also available for $100! You can also fiscally sponsor a membership for another human. All of our Board members volunteer their time, so your contribution goes right back into MMS. Last year we had a whopping 135 active members — up from 60 the previous year. Our goal is not only to maintain that membership, but add an additional 50 members for 2020. So please — sign up or renew now and bring along a friend for next year’s ride. It’s only going to get better!
There’s been a lot of great activity on our Facebook group, so if you have any fungal finds or projects, be sure to post there!
Corrections: This post was edited to say our next monthly meeting is on “Tuesday May 19th,” not June 19th. Apologies for the confusion.