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Welcome to the April installment of Mushrooms of the Month. The weather is finally starting move into warmer temperatures as spring should be! Knowing this, we should start to see some culinary delights emerge throughout the forest floor as the month … Continue reading
The weekend began with a long rainy commuter/rush hour fueled drive down from Oberlin, followed by a quick check-in at the Inntowner, then a fast back-track to JimBo’s biker pub, where we found Karen Kelley & Mike Nagy, Andrea & Will Moore, Jerry Pepera, Linda Rafferty, and Walt Sturgeon, waiting patiently for Marie and I to show up and enjoy their giant burger menu and great selection of bottled beers.
Saturday we convened at the Deep Woods Farm at 9 am. After coffee and a variety of baked goods, organized and set up by Sharon Greenberg, 2 groups set off on forays, one on site and the other to Ash Cave. They left about 10 am and returned with a goodly collection of specimens, which Walt and I and others (mostly Walt) ID’ed and set out on the tables. The potluck lunch was, as usual, excellent, and was set up by Sharon, with the help of other members.
Andrea Moore gave an inform-ative slide talk on Fungal Partnerships, emphasizing the interconnectedness within the biosphere, and mostly having to do with mycorrhizae. She recommended two books, which were important to her understanding of the topic: James Marty’s Life in the Soil and David Suzuki’s Tree: A Life Story. Andrea showed many great slides of mushrooms which are mycorrhizal and then added the story (which Walt has previously told) about Cerrena unicolor, a smallish polypore, probably best known for its tendency to sport a deep green coating of algae on its fuzzy upper surface. Its upper surface is whitish to grayish, but develops the green algal color, while its underside has a whitish to gray mazelike to toothlike surface.
The interesting part is that Cerrena’s spores get into the ovipositor of the wood-boring wasp (the horntail), when she bores into hardwood logs. These spores are carried around with the wasp’s eggs and then germinate when the eggs are laid. The mycelium from the germinating spores develops rapidly and acts as a food source for the wasp’s larvae. To prevent the populations of horntail wasp larvae from mushrooming (wink, wink, nudge, nudge!), Cerrena emits a pheromone, a volatile chemical which attracts ichneumonid wasps. The female of this wasp species lay their eggs in the wood infected with Cerrena and horntail wasp larvae. Her hatching larvae then feed on the horntail wasp larvae. Boy, that’s a sturdy strand in the web of life!
After Andrea’s talk a small group went on another foray to Rose Lake. We reconvened Saturday late afternoon at the Hocking Hills to the Mushroom Log. Dining Lodge, with about 20 folks enjoying great meals, with very generous portions.
Sunday am, we were treated to a hearty breakfast, cooked by Chuck Blyth, who so graciously allowed us to foray on his property. The eggs, bacon, and sausage were all home grown on his farm. Delicious! Another intrepid group went on a final foray, late Sunday morning.
In attendance were Bob & Joanne Antibus, Jack & Valerie Baker, David Bartholon, Martha Bishop, Jack & Becky Coll, Reid Fitzgerald, Fabiola Gerken, Sharon Greenberg, Nick Hainen, Marita King, Bryan Lewis & Laura Wilson, Alan McClelland, Shirley McClelland, Andrea & Will Moore, Mike Nagy and Karen Kelley, Jerry Pepera, Linda Rafferty, Tati Roberts, Walt Sturgeon, Olga Pylaeva and daughter, Hugh Urban, and Paul Varga.
For a glimpse of more of the beautiful things we encountered view the link below