May 2020 Updates!

May Monthly Update

Cerioporus squamosus — From MMS member Andrew Khitsun on Mushroom observer just a few days ago!

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 mms-bod@googlegroups.com.

Thank you!

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!

Foray Kits

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 mms-bod@googlegroups.com

Membership


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!

Become a Member/Renew Here

For fun!


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.

April Monthly Meeting Follow-up

We had our first virtual Monthly Meeting on April 21st, 2020! Hawthorn McCracken presented on the basics of foraging including ethics, general guidelines, and some basic fungi.

Here’s the slides they used!

The MMS Board will be meeting again towards the beginning of May to plan out upcoming events and discuss other topics to help keep MMS going during these unprecedented times! Keep an eye out for a newsletter during the first full week of May and as always, if you have any questions or comments feel free to submit them to us through our contact form.

Stay safe and wash your hands!

🍄🍄🍄

April 2020 Updates

Sarcoscypha coccinea

Hello from the board!

Hey Madison Mycofriends! We hope you are staying happy and healthy in these strange times. I know all of us are trying to cope with this pandemic in many different ways. We hope you’ve been able to get outside for walks (with a healthy 6-foot distance from others) and enjoy some of the nicer weather we’ve been having. Have you spotted any spring mushrooms yet? Let us know! Share your photos on the Facebook group!

The truth is that, like everyone else, we have no idea when our next in-person meet up will be. We are following the guidelines put out by the state and are doing our part to help prevent the spread of COVID. That being said – we would 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 mms-bod@googlegroups.com.

Thank you!

Book Club: Mycelium Running


We will be discussing Paul Stamets’ book, “Mycelium Running”. We have made a channel on MMS Slack for the called #book-club where members can discuss Part 1 of Mycelium Running. Discussion questions are here on our website!

Arboretum Mycoflora Project Workshop

Keep an eye out for future details about our Citizen Science events!

Foray Kits

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!

Membership

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!

Become a Member/Renew Here

For fun!

Foray at Olson Oak Woods

2 pm September 9

Alden Dirks will be leading this foray. Contact him at 610-314-9573 if you get lost or need more information. Find a carpool buddy here. There is only one parking lot, directions to which can be found here. Finally, check out the DNR map of the site. 

Foray at Ridgeway Pine Relict – Sunday, October 21

Join us for our VERY LAST FORAY OF 2018! The days and nights are getting quite cool and with the increasing frequency of frost, macrofungi are just about done for the season. Some mushrooms can still be found, though, including the late fall oyster (Sarcomyxa serotina), honey mushrooms (Armillaria spp.), the elm oyster (Hypsizygus ulmarius), and more, like this strangely colored Suillus spraguei that I found on Thursday when I scouted the location. Of course, crusts, lichens, and cup fungi don’t mind the cool weather and we will be excited to look at those, too.

Given the construction on highway 151, the drive from the Capitol is 56 minutes. Please follow the outlined path in Google Maps. Please look at this map of the site. We will be parking along Ridgvue Road, on the East side, between the two house icons and then walking East into the pine forest. Find a carpool buddy here. Please note, the terrain gets pretty steep! This site is spectacular for its topography, which unfortunately also makes it difficult to navigate. 

Foray at Browntown Oak Forest SNA – Sunday, October 7

Join us at Browntown Oak Forest SNA on Sunday, October 7 at 2 pm. The fall is a great time for foraging in oak forests. We will find all kinds of edible and choice inedible fungi, from giant puffballs (Calvatia gigantea) to small puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme), from bright crusts (Phlebia coccineofulva) to resinous polypores (Ischnoderma resinosum), and cool boletes like the cyan-staining bolete (Cyanoboletus pulverulentus). Find a carpool buddy here. Leah Bendlin will be leading this foray. She grew up in Madison and is back from the Pacific Northwest for a few months. Leah is on the board of directors of the Oregon Mycological Society and has been foraging mushrooms and teaching mycology for years.

Browntown Oak Forest SNA is 1 hour and 4 minutes from the Madison Capitol. If you follow the Google Map instructions, drive to where Google takes you then keep going for about another minute up the hill. The parking lot is on the right at the top of the hill. The DNR map shows where the parking area is.  

If you have any questions, contact Leah via email:

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Foray at Magnolia Bluff SNA – Sunday, September 23

At 2 pm on Sunday, September 23, join us at Magnolia Bluff State Natural Area. Alden Dirks will be leading the foray. Contact him at 610-314-9573 if you need help. Find a carpool buddy here.

Check out the DNR page for Magnolia Bluff SNA. It is worth visiting just to see the awesome cliffs with a great view of distant farms and woods. There is also a beautiful oak savanna with big, gnarly bur oaks (Quercus macrocarpa).

Make sure to bring bug spray. Mosquitoes are bad. 

Foray at Texas Island Woods State Natural Area #603 – 2 pm, Sunday, August 26

Alden Dirks will be leading this foray. Contact him at 610-314-9573 if you get lost, need more information, etc. Find a carpool buddy here.

Texas Island Woods State Natural Area #603 comprises 72 acres of mature hardwood forest and was established in 2010. Note that most state natural areas do not have public facilities like restrooms. 

This Google Map roughly shows how to get to the natural area, but you will need to follow the instructions below to find the parking area. We will meet at the parking area and walk together into the natural area. 

From the intersection of County Highways F and E in Sullivan, go south on County Highway E 2.5 miles to a DNR parking area west of the road. Hike west 0.5 miles into the natural area.

Wisconsin DNR

We highly recommend you look at and print this map from the DNR. Note the location of the parking lot. Also note that the natural area is an “island” with swampy and marshy areas surrounding it on all sides. I think the maturity of the forest, with its natural beauty and the amazing mushrooms I expect us to find, will make the drive and 10 minute trek well worth it.

Foray at Kathy and Henry’s place, 49 Danks Rd., Stoughton, WI 53598 – Sunday, August 12

This Sunday we will be foraging on the private property of Kathy and Henry Royer. Meet us at their house, 49 Danks Rd., Stoughton, WI 53598. Check out their beautiful sculptures and furniture on their website.

We hope to find some exciting late summer edibles, like chanterelles and chicken of the woods. 

Find a carpool buddy here.  

Bring outdoor clothes and expect to walk through woods and brush that might contain ticks and poison ivy, and most definitely some mosquitoes. A hat, water, snacks, and insect repellant are all handy things to bring. Stiff wicker baskets are ideal for carrying fungal finds intact; mesh bags will often turn your collection into unidentifiable debris. Also, a camera for documenting mushrooms and a notebook for recording information are both valuable for growing as a wild forager and mycologist.