Number 368, January 2001

Spore Prints

Electronic Edition is published monthly, September through June bythe
Puget Sound Mycological Society
Center for Urban Horticulture, Box 354115
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195
(206) 522-6031

Agnes A. Sieger, Editor


Tuesday, January 9, at 7:30PM , Center for UrbanHorticulture, 3501 N.E. 41st Street, Seattle

Judy Roger will speak about the Oregon ChanterelleStudy. This pioneering study was begun in 1986 by the OregonMycological Society in response to the advent of commercialexploitation of mushrooms. At that time, virtually nothing wasknown about the resource.

Judy's interest in mushrooms was piqued when shestudied them with Dr. Stuntz while she was a student at theUniversity of Washington. She has been an active member of themushroom community ever since. She joined PSMS in 1972, became akey member, and then continued her activities when she moved toOregon. She is especially interested in education and may be bestknown to our members for her splendid microscopy workshops. Judyhas been an editor of the OMS newsletter, MushRumors, andthe North American Mycological Society's newsletter,Mycophile. She is a long-time member of the PacificNorthwest Key Council, working with Conocybe, Galerina, Tubaria,and Armillaria and has studied with mycologists including RoyWatling and Nancy Smith Weber. She and Dr. Weber worked on aproject that attempted to increase the production of morels inclear cuts on Mt. Hood. Along the way, she trained her lead dog,Tamarack, to hunt truffles.


Jan. 9 Membership meeting,7:30 PM,CUH

Jan. 15 Board meeting, 7:30PM , CUH BoardRoom

Jan. 26 Spore Prints deadline

mushroom obsession: the first 30 days of a newlife

Marsha Griggs Adiong, Spores Afield , Colorado Myco. Soc., July2000

Day 1: Grudgingly agree to substitute for spouse atbeginning mushroom course. Complete mental list of spouse favorpaybacks. Things look up: Instructor is knowledgeable andcaptivating. Taste wonderful mushroom in class (starts with ``b'';second word sounds like ``eats'').

Day 6: have to get up too early. Class foray. Drinklots of coffee. Wonder where bathroom stops will be in mountains.Pick lots of yummy-looking, cherry-red mushrooms. Have a good time.Taste different, wonderful mushrooms. Find self listening carefullyto where other mushroom hunters have been hunting. Chumps.

Day 8: Join mycological society and attend meeting.These people actually enjoy identifying mushrooms! Don't understandwhy they jump back from aging specimens.

Day 9: Spouse leaves several deterioratingspecimens on kitchen counter. Find out why these people recoil fromold mushrooms. Head creatures in direction of spouse's side of thebed.

Day 13: Have to get up too early. Our first Societyforay. Immediately find huge bolete, leave adjacent one in haste toshow spouse. Watch fellow member retrace my path to steal my otherbolete. Reconsider personal position on gun control.

Day 14: Check out mushroom books, join BotanicGardens. Weight training pays off¾can take as many as I can carry. Our own firstforay rapture.

Day 15: Exact promise from spouse that if I diefrom mushroom poisoning, not to tell my mycophobic parents. Spousepromises to personally tire-track body, withhold autopsypermission, and, most importantly, not tell Marilyn.

Day 16: Sick of seeing cut stipes everywhere. Sendemergency contribution to Planned Parenthood.

Day 17: Start pretending not to read English, as in``PRIVATE.'' Practice saying, ``No hablo Ingles.'' Decide I don'tlook convincingly Latin¾switch toFrench.

Day 18: Decide two-wheel drive vehicles don't cutit. Acquire truck used to drive over Volvos in commercial.Camouflage paint it.

Day 19: Install dog door and automaticfeeder/waterer. Decide house keeping chores are Sisyphean battlesagainst cosmic entropy. Decide to go with the flow instead.

Day 20: Feel racks of mushroom add that '90s touchto the bedroom. Rename our basset hound, Brevipes.

Day 21: Cajole mailman, paper boy, passerby intoadmiring my Latin-labeled, baggie-packed freezer. Price walk-inmodels.

Day 22: Hit co-op to cop paper bags. Stop to jeerat Agaricus bisporus in the produce section. Ignore dirtylooks over my one-can-to-a-bag technique.

Day 24: Decide lawn mowing is bourgeois hang-upneighbors should get over. Neighbors discover all theirrefrigerator, oven, and grill racks are missing.

Day 25: Price 1000x microscope. Assure chemist notto divulge source of Melzer's solution. Ponder long-term stabilityof Henry's reagent over four-wheel trails.

Day 26: Figure lack of sleep and eating onlymushrooms will compensate for not exercising.

Day 27: Finalize reconnaissance helicopterarrangements. Landsat remote sensing data arrives.

Day 28: Refuse to tell spouse where I foundboletes. Brush up on military interrogation resistancetechniques.

Day 29: Load truck with satellite link-up, radar,heat-seeking missiles, arboreal and microbiological texts, soilanalysis kit, microscope, altimeter, hygrometer, and freeze-driedchocolate doughnuts.

Day 30: Note added by law-enforcement officials:Earth-colored vehicle breaks land speed record on 1-70, westbound.Attempts to apprehend are unsuccessful.

Record-BreakingSparassis Crispa
The Spore Print, Journal of the L.A.Myco. Soc., Nov. 2000

The Los Angeles Times reported that arecord-breaking mushroom was found in southeast France by threeamateur mushroom specialists. The Sparassiscrispa weighed in at 63.4 pounds, breaking the previousrecord of 29.8 pounds. The mycologists had to use a jacket to lugthe massive mushroom back to their car before transporting it to aspecialist's shop. The fungus has been entrusted to the care of acompany that says it will not allow it to be eaten, but ratherplans to have it frozen and displayed around the country atmushroom fairs. Sparassis crispa is a parasitic forestmushroom also found in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.


Taylor F. Lockwood, that mushroomphotographer extraordinaire, has now put out a poster, ``The Wild,the Weird, and the Wonderful''. It is 18" ×24" and comes with anidentification sheet. For a preview go to http://www.fungiphoto.com/WWnW/WWnW.html.You can buy one for $12, including shipping and handling. To order,e-mail Taylor before he leaves for Australia inFebruary.

Taylor F. Lockwood, P.O. Box 1412, Mendocino, CA95460 Phone (707) 937-2004 - Home e-mail: tfl@mcn.org - Travelling e-mail: mycogypsy@yahoo.com - Web site:http://www.fungiphoto.com/.

Fungus will be used to fight locusts

San Bernardino Sun, 10/23/00, via TheSpore Print, Journal of the L.A. Myco. Soc., November 2000

submitted by Ben Keeney

After thousands of years of burning them, buryingthem, poisoning them, and even eating them, biologists have come upwith a sure, safe way to kill one of humanity's most frighteningscourges: the swarming desert locust.

For about the same cost as pesticide, the totallyorganic weapon also could get rid of those pesky grasshopperseating the back yard garden.

Developed by international scientists and marketedas Green Muscle, an otherwise harmless, even edible, naturallyoccurring fungus called Metarhiziumanisopliae has already has been used to kill millions oflocusts and grasshoppers in Niger and is ready to take on the nextAfrican or global invasion, which some scientists believe may be athand.

Biologists from the Nigeria-based InternationalInstitute of Tropical Agriculture planned to announce at a WorldBank scientific conference today that the fungus is effective andcan be developed for commercial uses.

The fungus has been in development for a decade.Its first application in commercial quantities came with a massspraying of Niger farmland in August.

In recent months, unusually large numbers ofgrasshoppers or locusts have been invading parts of Africa,Argentina, Australia, China, Indonesia, Spain, Russia, Kazakstan,and the United States. Recent drought and heat in Texas havespawned one of the worst grasshopper invasions in the past 30years.

The bio-pesticide application in Niger, financed byLuxembourg, provided ``complete control'' that lasted up to threetimes longer than current chemical insecticides, said a report fromFuture Harvest, an international research group on farming.

``This new product is environmentally sound. Itkills grasshoppers and locusts and nothing else,'' said JurgenLangewald, a German biologist who leads the program that developedGreen Muscle from the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae. Formore information, visit http://www.cgiar.org/iita/research/lubilosa.

Russian mushroom pickersthreaten aircraft

Fungifama, Southern Vancouver Island Myco. Soc., Nov. 2000by Steve Rosenberg in Moscow,
from the Web via Larry Stickney and Michael Taylor

It may not be an Olympic sport just yet, but formost Russians, mushroom picking really is a national pastime. Comethe autumn, everyone is hard at it, combing the fields and forestsfor fungi. But in the small town of Krasnoselkup, residents havebeen risking their lives for the pick of the crop. And all becausethe very best mushrooms¾ so they sayin Krasnoselkup¾grow on the runwayof the local airport. Undaunted by rapidly approaching planes andhelicopters, mushroom pickers have been flooding onto the airstripwith their baskets, often forcing aircraft to abort theirlanding.

It has become such a problem, in fact, that thelocal authorities have been forced to act. They have introducedheavy fines for anyone caught picking on the runway: the equivalentof $1,000. For most people in Krasnoselkup that is nearly threeyears' wages. The money will be used to compensate airlines thathave suffered disruption, as well as airport staff that have todeal with the offenders. On the telephone from Krasnoselkup, an airtraffic controller called Nadezhda assured me the heavy fines werehaving an effect. ``No one has dared go onto the runway since thefines came in,'' Nadezhda said. Like most towns in the Russian FarNorth, the climate in Krasnoselkup is not very kind to mushroompickers. There are nine months of snow, and just a few weeks a yearwhen you can fill your basket. That might explain people'swillingness to throw caution to the wind. But for anyone braveenough to risk it and venture out onto the runway, these prizemushrooms could turn out to be the most expensive in Russia.

[Editor's note: Far-fetched as this storymay seem, there is a town in northwestern, BC, that has similardifficulties because there is reputed to be a fine patch of pinemushrooms (Tricholoma magnivelare ) at the localairport.]

A WILLAMETTE VALLEY ORIGINALGlenn Walthall, MushRumors, Oregon Myco.Soc.,

Nov. -Dec. 2000

The year was 1932. A doctor from Lake Oswego washiking with his son in what is now Tryon Creek State Park. Dr.Gilbert was knowledgeable enough in natural history that he knewhe'd spotted something new for the Willamette Valley, after havingseen an article in the April 1926 National Geographic on``The Marvels of Mycetozoa,'' by William Crowder. What he'dfound was a slime mold that was new to the Pacific Northwest.

The Mycetozoa are agroup of organisms that dwell in a borderland between the plant andthe animal kingdoms.

Cribraria oregana is a uniqueorganism called a Myxomycete, or slime mold. Slime molds arenot really molds, in the literal sense, in that they are notsaprophytic or parasitic. That is, they don't use dead organicmaterial for their nutrition. They are what biologists call``holozoic,'' which means they have a creeping, flowing stagecalled a ``plasmodium'' that can capture spores of mosses orliverworts or soil protozoans, bacteria, tiny invertebrates, algae,or ovules of grasses , rushes, and sedges.

This ``creeping'' stage (with the aid of amicroscope, you can see amoebas doing this) can be beautifullycolored in brilliant yellows, white, pink, red, orange, and evenpurple or black. They also have a sporophyte stage which, viewedwith a hand lens, can look like a miniature mushroom, where sporeswill be produced that are no more than 6 -9microns in diameter. (That's 6 to 9/125,000 of an inch!)

They also have a sclerotium, a crust-like stagethat confuses the identification even more, because all threestages can, and usually do, show a different color and shape Atleast six species have been identified for the Nature Park inBeaverton to date. Fuligo, bright yellow, is the mostcommon, often appearing on old stumps, cut ends of logs, andsometimes over mosses like Brachythecium or Hypnum.Lycogala is pink and found on burnt ground or fire-scarredstumps. Arceria, red, is often found on old wood wherebacteria are in good supply. Cribraria, however, isorange and is partial to old fir or oak branches that are in a goodstage of decay by bacteria or with fungal mycelia and protozoa.

Most commonly with grasses youmight see a white mass of Brefeldia, or on the bark of analder you might see a silvery mass of Reticularia.

Yes, they are a curious group. But with a hand lensyou can enhance your experience with nature by examining one of themost remarkable entities in the entire nature panorama appearing asyou walk within the Nature Park. They may never be as popular aswild flowers or birds, or as the ``red leg frog'' (Ranaaurora) or the ``Pacific tree frog'' (Hyla regilla) thatboth sing in the forest as our temperatures move up into the low50s.

But I guarantee they will get you down on yourknees for a humbler view of one of nature's marvels¾ a ``Jekyll and Hyde'' of natural history, anamorphous mass of slowly creeping, colorful protoplasm.

Years ago, one of my studentscalled this group a UGO¾a group of``unidentified growing objects.'' It's ``The Thing'' of sciencefiction. They now even have, their own Kingdom, Mycetaceae.

Shrimp and chicken coconut lemonsoup
Renata Outerbridge, Fungifama,Southern Vancouver Island Myco. Soc., Sept. 2000

I more or less combined my two favorite Thai soups:coconut chicken & lemon shrimp.


4 cups of chicken stock (with salt, to taste)

2 Tbsp of lemon or lime juice

2 pieces of dried galanga root (type of ginger)

A few tender stems of lemon grass, chopped

Fresh, dried, or pickled hot peppers, to taste (Iuse 1 tsp fresh)

1 Tbs of oyster or fish sauce (available in Asianstores)

1. Combine and bring the above to boil.

2. Add 1/2 pound of cubed boneless and skinlesschicken.

3. Add 1/2 cup of enoki, or canned strawmushrooms.

4. Add 1/2 pound of fresh peeled prawns.

5. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Take the pot off the heat.

7. Mix in, while stirring, 1 cup of coconutmilk.

8. Add generous amount of chopped freshcoriander.

9. Serve hot (in coconut shells?), over a smallamount of your favorite kind of pasta (I use broken upspaghetti).

The soup should taste slightly salty, but mostly``coconuty'' ¾sour, then surpriseyou with the heat of the peppers. If the soup curdles when you addthe coconut milk, reduce the amount of lemon juice.

Fungus Helps Lungworms ParasitizeCows Natural History

via ``From the Pages of the Journals,'' by MarshallDeutsch, Boston Myco.Club Bulletin, Sept. 2000

Natural History describes how a fungus helpscertain lungworms parasitize cows. The lungworm's problem is to getaway from the cowpat in which it is deposited by one cow to acleaner grassy area where it can be eaten by another cow. ``Theybide their time inside the pat of manure until morning lightstrikes them. Light is their signal to climb up through the manureuntil they reach the surface, where they begin to hunt around for aspecies of fungus that also parasitizes cows, a species thatresponds to light by growing little spring-loaded packages ofspores. When one of the lungworms touches a spore package, itlatches on and climbs up to the top. Soon the fungus catapultsitself six feet into the air, soaring away from the manure like apuddle jumper, with the lungworm going along for the ride. If thelungworm lands on a patch of grass (and not on another cowpat), itsodds of being eaten by a cow are much improved.''


PSMS memberships were officially up the endDecember, so unless you joined at or after the Annual Exhibit, it'stime to renew. Fill out and send in the enclosed renewal formsASAP.

· Mr. Richy, whyso bitchy,
How does your garden grow?
With slugs and bugs and fungal thugs
And dead corn all in a row.

The Mushroom Log,
Ohio MushroomSoc., Sept-Oct 2000