July Monthly Updates

Photo by Andrew Turner

July (Zoom) Monthly Meeting
Tuesday, July 20th 6:00 – 7:00 pm  

False morels or true lorchels?
Taxonomy, ecology, toxicology, and edibility of Gyromitra mushrooms

with Alden Dirks

“False morels” is a term commonly used to refer to mushrooms that look similar to the prized edible true morels, Morchella spp., but are regarded as poisonous. But what if the naming of something by what it is not obscures and diminishes the unique aspects of that thing? In this talk, we will explore the fascinating biology and questions of toxicology and edibility of Gyromitra spp. as they are, true lorchels – mushrooms with their own story to tell. What species are present in our area? How do lorchels make their living? What is the nature of the gyromitrin mycotoxin? Are lorchel mushrooms edible? For my PhD thesis research at University of Michigan, I am studying the evolution of gyromitrin in lorchels and think a lot about these broader questions too. Even though we are already into the summer months, it is never too late or early to learn more about a charismatic group of spring mushrooms!

Monthly Meeting (on Zoom)

Thanks to those who made it to Tavis Lynch’s talk during our June monthly meeting! Please consider supporting Tavis by attending an event by the Northwest Wisconsin Myco Enthusiasts group or purchasing his latest book (with Britt Bunyard) The Beginner’s Guide to Mushrooms: Everything You Need to Know, from Foraging to Cultivating

Mushroom Foraging 101 at DeForest Public Library
Tuesday, August 6th 6:00pm

203 Library Street, DeForest

Join Hawthorn McCracken and Andrew Turner of the Madison Mycological Society for a beginner’s guide to foraging for fungi. We will discuss ethical and safety considerations for foraging in Wisconsin. Attendees will also learn about some beginner-friendly mushroom species to confidently start their foraging adventures.

Witch’s Butter (Tremella mesenterica) uploaded by community scientist, Kathleen Thompson

Community Science Update

We introduced our community science project during our April monthly meeting. If you weren’t able to attend, don’t worry! We’ve recorded it for you. In addition to finding cool fungi, folks who participate have the opportunity to win some MMS swag at the end of the year.

Keep an eye out for news about our July challenge and upcoming, in-person community science events!

Ways to Connect

We have a number of different ways that members can reach out to each other and we want to make sure everyone knows how to stay in touch! 

We have a Google Group (https://groups.google.com/g/madison-mycological-society) that was mostly inactive, but we would love for folks to use it. You may see some more activity there from board members as we resurrect this really helpful tool! Please join by sending an email to mad-myco-soc-list+join@googlegroups.com.

We also have a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1676228212462783) where members have been posting photos of their finds and sharing info!

We also have a community Slack (https://madisonmycosociety.slack.com)! Slack is a channel-based messaging platform which allows users to chat in real time. Click this link to join! 


We are excited to have you join us in person this year for forays! Please be advised, we have a strict COVID protocol that is subject to change as the pandemic continues to change over time. We will be limiting capacity for forays, so please be sure to fill out this form (below) as soon as possible to help our whole MMS family be able to participate. We look forward to seeing you. You will receive a confirmation email and further details from the Board of Directors when you have been successfully signed up.

Upcoming dates: 
Sat – Jul 10    Governor Dodge State Park 
Sat – Jul 24    Lake Kegonsa 
Sat – Aug 14    Magnolia Bluff State Natural Area
Sat – Aug 28    Southern Kettle Moraine 
Sat – Sep 11    Anderson Farm County Park
Sat – Sep 25    Devil’s Lake

Thank you!

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