Mushroom forage – 2019

Mushroom forage – 2019
by Nancy Pezel 29 Sept

Sixteen members met at Squirrel Crossing on this perfect fall day to learn about mushrooms.  After handing out an introduction to mushrooms and showing us a stack of reference books she suggested to help with identification, Izi Loveluck guided us up a loop trail to point out examples of a variety of different mushrooms.

There we found some summer Oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus) growing on an alder log, which Izi said was unusual to still be out at this time of year.  She pointed out a patch of Lobster mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum), which are very unique in appearance and easy to identify.  Lobster mushrooms are edible but she cautioned that they colonize other mushrooms, so could colonize toxic mushrooms which would make them toxic as well!

We were able to compare a Chanterelle spp. (edible) to a similar looking Gamphydrus (toxic), and differentiate the two by their gills.  We then split into small groups and searched for mushrooms on our own.   After an hour we regrouped and laid out the specimens we had gathered.

David Bedry generously provided his stove so Izi could cook up some of the Chanterelles we had found and an Oyster mushroom.  The secret to cooking mushrooms we were told, is to fry them up in a dry pan so most of the moisture evaporates, then add lots of butter!


Mushroom Festival at Madeira Park

Mushroom Festival at Madeira Park
by Michael Stewart, 13 Oct

It was a beautiful morning as we travelled by ferry to Earls Cove.

From there, we went to the southern area of Pender Harbour and had a short but amazing hike along the ocean in Francis Point Provincial Park.  We did some bird watching and found a few mushrooms in this wonderful park.

Next we went to Madeira Park to attend the mushroom festival.  Besides the display of about 100 species of local mushrooms with Duane Sept in attendance, there was a demonstration of dying wool with mushrooms, several cooking demonstrations with trial samples, and a variety of vendors.

After a leisurely snack sitting in the sun of a local cafe, we explored a couple of other areas by car including Egmont.  We then returned by ferry to Saltery Bay.

Marvellous mushrooms in the mist

Marvellous mushrooms in the mist
by Janet May, 28
 Oct 2017.

Ioni Waisgluss led a foggy fungi hunt through Millennium Park.

Tiny candle snuffs and burly red belted polypores were admired, as sunlight gradually brightened the golden maples above us.

Enthusiastic young mycologists and their parents had a fine fall day out!


Trail-busting with ORUG

Trail-busting with ORUG
by Barbara Sherriff and David Bedry, 
27 February 2016. 

No, it’s not the title of  bad movie.  Rather, because our members gain so much from having such a wonderful network of local trails, we thought it time to give something back.

So on a misty February morning, seven intrepid Malaspina Naturalists set out to clear the trail along the south side of Powell Lake from Powell River Bridge to Block Bay.

We cut back blackberry, salal and alder to allow free access along the path. Grating was also installed on a small slippery bridge as well as some shovel work for drainage.

After this experience, we’re personally much more appreciative of the many kilometres of hiking trails that are cleared by hard working volunteers coordinated by the ORUG (Outdoor Recreation Users Group).


Ioni Wais – “Corn Smut, Fairy Rings and Ergotoxicosis”

Ioni Wais – “Corn Smut, Fairy Rings and Ergotoxicosis”
by Andrew Bryant, 21 January 2016.

Ioni Wais is a relative newcomer to Powell River and somewhat difficult to categorize.  He describes himself as a “community animator”,  with a focus on “people, plants and place”. Actually, I think that sums it up pretty well!

In any event Ioni, or more accurately Ionatan Waisgluss, led us on a fascinating exploration of plant diseases and their influence on humans, society, and history.

It was truly one of those rare talks that one attends without having any idea what it might be about, and which winds up occupying your mind for days afterwords.  Or at least that was my experience.

Welcome to Powell River Ioni – and thank you for the nice note, detailed image notes, and links to further reading, which can be found here!

Edible plants, mosses and ferns

Edible plants, mosses and ferns
by Barbara Sherriff, 21 March 2015.

Diana Rosburgh and Suzan Roos led nineteen of us on a gentle walk along the forest trails at the rear of the Recreational Complex.  They not only identified many plants, they also explained which ones were edible and which would make us very sick.  Among the plants that they described were trailing blackberry, which have separate male and female plants, explaining why some patches have no fruits.

The berries of salal, oregon grape, salmonberry, red huckleberry and evergreen black huckleberry are all great to eat or make into jam but not twin berry or red elderberry.  We found edible fiddle heads of the lady fern but were warned off those of bracken, spiny wood or sword fern.

Suzan made us tasty tea from Douglas fir fronds and right at the end of the walk we found edible winter chanterelle mushrooms also known as yellow foot.


Mushroom cook-out

Mushroom cook-out
by David Bedry, 17 October 2014. 

Twenty adults and three children headed into the woods for a follow-up field trip after our monthly meeting. Brian Lee, the previous nights speaker, led a great trip into the forest at Squirrel Crossing.

Despite a forecast of heavy rain and strong winds the weatherman cooperated for our field trip. Most people were prepared and dressed appropriately for the weather with water repellent clothes and in layers.

Brian lead us into the forest and we started seeing mushrooms that he began talking about almost immediately. Brian would either show and talk about mushrooms that he came across or commented on specimens that members brought to him.

Brian constantly emphasized the safety of what we were picking and referred to two field guides (All That the Rain Promises, and More by David Arora and Common Mushrooms of the Northwest by J. Duane Sept – both are available at Breakwater Books) to accurately identify what we were picking.

After a couple of hours of traipsing through the woods we converged on the picnic site at Squirrel Crossing (thanks to the BOMB Squad for the new picnic tables and benches) where Brian treated us to his mastery of culinary skills regarding our pickings. He suggested a cast iron skillet on high heat to “dry sauté” the mushrooms. This evidently both cooks the mushrooms as well as removing the excess moisture so you don’t have a “slimy” product in the fry pan. He only added a bit of butter towards the end of cooking to emphasize the taste of the mushrooms and not all the other flavours that could be added.

We all learned a great deal about mushroom identification, picking, and how to prepare and cook them.


Brian Lee – “Mushrooms”

Brian Lee – “Mushrooms”
by Andrew Bryant, 16 Oct 2014. 

Brian Lee is a local resident, a member of the Sechelt Mycological Society, and all-around woodsman and master of bushcraft.  He gave a lively talk about our local mushrooms, including tips for field identification, potential pitfalls for the unwary, and interesting culinary tips.

His talk was ably assisted by some of David Bedry’s marvellous mushroom photography, and in what must be a first for our club, Brian even served some of his exceptional home-made mushroom soup!

The Great Mushroom Cook-out

The Great Mushroom Cook-out
By Heather Harbord, 15 October 2012. 

Dave Taylor from Texada had been asked to lead this but at the last minute declined saying there were no mushrooms.  Eight of us went to Squirrel Crossing anyway and found about 20 species.

Despite a recent injury, Izi Loveluck led the trip as she knew far more than the rest of us.  Claudia Boelcke brought the huge remains of a 10 lb cauliflower mushroom which she found up Scout Mountain a few days before.  Andrew Bryant brought cooking gear and we ate the very tasty cauliflower as well as some chanterelles that we found.  This was just as well as the trip stretched into four hours instead of the usual two.

David Largent – “Collecting mushrooms in Australia”

David Largent – “Collecting mushrooms in Australia”
by Sherri Wretham, 20 October 2011.  

Dr. David Largent is a mycologist and former Professor of Botany at Humbolt State University in California.

David spoke to us about the mushrooms he’s studying in Australia.   The talk emphasized the two areas in which the research was done, namely The Wet Tropics Heritage Areas in far northern Queensland and the temperate rainforests in central New South Wales.  

He showed the vegetative areas in which he collected, and the diversity of a few of the mushrooms found in those areas.  The talk provided good views of the areas, things to avoid when visiting, things that are really interesting, and introduced a few of the people with whom he was collaborating.

Terry Taylor – “Mushrooms”

Terry Taylor – “Mushrooms”
by Heather Harbord, September 27, 2007.  

Terry Taylor has studied the ecology and flora, including the mushrooms and mosses of southern British Columbia, for several decades.  Terry is a member of Nature Vancouver,  the Native Plant Society of BC and the Vancouver Mycological Society.

His talk concerned identification, taxonomy,  and even the infamous Piltdown mushroom, which you can learn more about at his personal blog located here.