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Website of the Central New York Mycological Society


MAY 2003

" M" is for Morels!

Hunting Morels requires keen eyesight, a lot of patience and faith in their existence. I have been searching twice a day for ten days now. My persistence has been rewarded by a small, but steadily growing, pile of drying Morels. Today I noticed that there was a familiar pattern to their locations, so I revisited patches of old that had not been active in several years. Hunkered down to peer amid the leaf litter, a small morel caught my eye, and then another, and another…nine all together! In all my years of hunting, that’s the most I’ve ever found at once!

The Big Morel Foray is going to be awesome this year! Join us the 18th for an unforgettable experience. On the evening of the 19th learn about and sample wild edibles with Nancy Kaiser!

We are off to a great start this year with a huge turnout at the Rand Tract Foray where they found False Morels and Veined Cup Fungi, as well as a plethora of spring wild flowers. Plenty of hungry people enjoyed an evening of Mushroom mycophagy at the meeting. Mark your calendars and join us! We’ll see you soon!


Mushroom of the Month
mushrooms_0080.jpg (65590 bytes)
Morchella esculenta

From ‘mushroom" by johnny acton and nick sandler:

" The Morel arouses strange passions in those who fall under its spell. ‘All’s fair in love, war and Morel hunting,’ as one devotee bluntly put it. More than one murder has been attributed to lust for this strange, brain-like fungus…The rumblings are felt as early as late February, when reports come in of the year’s first finds down in the Mississippi delta. But it is in May that the whole thing really explodes, particularly in Michigan. Whole communities are possessed by the Morel bug. There are mass forays, competitions and numerous festivals. There are even Morel bulletins on the radio. One of the many things that makes the Morel such an object of fascination is its legendary elusiveness. Perhaps because it tastes so good, it has been forced to evolve a devilishly effective camouflage. Yet, once penetrated, this cloak of invisibility can dissolve miraculously. Frequently on a Morel hunt, nobody will find anything for hours. Then someone will spot one, and suddenly they’ll start to appear everywhere. It is almost an act of faith."

David Arora in Mushrooms Demystified says: "In Eastern North America it is most often found under oak, maple, beech, hickory, elm, ash, fruit trees and other hardwoods, especially in May. Morels usually grow outdoors; in forests and open ground, in abandoned orchards, gardens, landscaped areas, under hedges, on roadcuts and driveways, near melting snow, in gravel, around wood piles or tree trunks, and in sandy soil along streams. In other words, Morels grow wherever they please…but only if conditions are favorable!"


APRIL 2003

Spring Forward!
Jean O. Fahey
- Editor

Only a few weeks ago I was digging through the snow and peeking under the leaves to find the Ramp (aka wild leek) patch. They are now standing six inches tall and having no problem poking through the ground cover as well as filling the air with their wonderful scent. A sure sign that spring has sprung! The Toothwort and the Trout lily are up and when the latter flowers, the Morel season has begun. I’m already looking though, just in case they are early, and have been rewarded by the thrilling sight of Scarlet cups (Sarcoscypha coccinea) along the way. Get out there and look! Join Bernie at the Rand Tract on the 26th and see what’s popping up! Don’t forget to come sample some mushroom treats from around the world on the 21st! We’ll see you soon!

We only need four more people to sign up to buy the cookbook "Mushroom" by Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler for only $15. The pictures alone are worth it.


Mushrooms of the Month

Early Morels

From ‘A Cook’s Book of Mushroom" by Jack Czarnecki:

" Morel Taxonomy is fairly straightforward and there are really not that many varieties. However, things do get a little more complicated with black morels. All true morels are of the genus Morchella. Similar-looking fungi of various other genera, such as Gyromitra and Verpa, should never be confused with morels because some of them are poisonous.

Half-free Morel(edible)Scientific name-Morchella semilibera. This is usually the first morel in spring, although there are years when it does not appear at all. It is considered the least desirable of morels because it consists almost entirely of a long stem with just a bit of cap, but it is picked enthusiastically nonetheless because it is the first morel to appear and its presence usually promises bigger and better things to come!

BlackMorel (edible) (Peck’s morel) Scientificname-Morchella angusticeps, M. elata (fat-headed black morel), M.conica(narrow-headed black morel). The first morels to appear in the latter weeks of April, these immediately follow or sometimes co-exist with half-free morels. Black morels are usually considered a separate species in a group, even though some mycologists say there is no taxonomic difference of substance or importance. These are the morels you are most likely to find in newly mulched areas of your garden or at burn sites. They are, without a doubt, the toughest morel to "see" in the woods."

Free book –MUSHROOMS – EYEWITNESS HANDBOOKS, by Tomas Laessoe and Gary Lincoff. Will be raffled off at our April meeting for everyone who has paid their dues. If your mailing label doesn’t say 2003, then it is time to send us $10 for dues. If your mailing label says 2001 then you need to send us $20. If you’ve paid and the date isn’t right, contact treasurer Rick Colvin (rcolvin@twcny.rr.com or 635-8078).

Bernie Carr,Chair


MARCH 2003

Welcome Back!
Jean O. Fahey
- Editor

I am so excited about this year! It’s been such an "old-fashioned winter" that an "old-fashioned mushroom year" is sure to follow. If I seem overly optimistic, it is because I learned a great deal last year, mostly about the fantastic boletes that we found at the end of a long, hot summer. I believe in Mycological Miracles!

From the cookbook "Mushroom" by Johnny Acton and Nick Sandler:

"Mushrooms have always had something magical about them, from the seemingly miraculous ways in which they grow, through their medicinal properties, to their sometimes transcendentally exquisite taste.

Because of the mysterious, apparently capricious way in which they pop up, mushrooms are an excellent antidote to the controlled, predictable world in which most of us now live. Much about them remains thrillingly outside the grasp of science. There is something wild and pagan about fungi that makes them fascinating enough on their own. But they can also be wonderfully good to eat."


Advice to the Novice Mushroomer

By Boris Subbotin 10/01 from the Sporeprint LA Myco Society Nov 2001

In fields and in woods, in fall and in spring,
A mushroomer’s guide I used to just bring,
To help me best know, right on the spot,
Whether this one, or that, was edible, or not.
On each it took me quite some time,
To key in on color, size shape, or the slime,
But absolute certainty had never resulted,
Only when experts were later consulted.
So my basket contained only those few that I took,
After cautiously studying some pages in a book,
While my comrades ran round and quickly collected,
Baskets of goodies that I must have neglected.
I thus would advise you, if you are able,
To take new finds home, and, laid out on the table,
With guides and spore prints, allaying all fears,
Learn a few new species for following years.

A note from the Editor of the Sporeprint LA Myco Society:

The poem I hope will be especially helpful for beginning mushroom hunters. As a novice, I remember one of my first mushroom picking trips, I picked a very large basket full of many different species. I had no clue as to the identity of most, so I had to throw them out. Reflecting on incidents like this is very frustrating because when I look back, I quite clearly remember passing up lovely specimens of some rather choice edible species. It is a pity how many potential fine gourmet preparations I must have tossed into the compost heap. It always makes me feel better however, when I think of the time I threw out some big beautiful white mushrooms I later came to know as Amanita ocreata.


Just like the Audubon Society, CNYMS will publish a monthly list of Fungal sightings on your walks or in your own backyard! In the interest of science, as well as for the love of fungi, send your list or interesting findings to Jean at "mushroom@zhighway.net" or 445-1463.

Got any recipes, stories or info to share? To put it in the Newsletters contact:

Jean O. Fahey- Editor

Any questions or input for newsletters contact:
Jean Fahey (Club mycophagist and editor) 232 Edgemont Dr. Syracuse, NY 13214 445-1463
Or Bernie Carr (chairperson) 210 Parrish Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205 469-9379.


Don’t miss out by not staying current on your dues. If you don’t remember when you last paid, send your $10 dues made out to CNYMS to Rick Colvin (treasurer) 1948 Conners Rd., Baldwinsville, NY 13027.

Bernie Carr, Chair
Central New York Mycological Society
469-9379
"bcarr@zhighway.net"


For The Love Of Fungi!

Hosted as a public service of The Forager Press and Roy Reehil
Copyright CNYMS 2003