It’s been a while since the last post. A lot has happened between now and then and I’d like to take this opportunity to share what we’ve been up to. Understandably, after our successful crowdfunding campaign in August we took a “break” in September to take stock of everything that had happened. If you’re not already familiar with the details:
- Our first weekend in August took Vera and I to Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, as well as Sam Mitchel’s old ranch in Edwards CO. For that trip we were in the awesome company of Dr. Henry Beker, his colleague Linda Davies, and our good friend Amy Honan from Western States Colorado University. Here’s the post of that trip for deets.
- The second weekend was the CMS Fair with Michael Kuo. Post1. Post2. It was also the week we implemented a new protocol for processing mushrooms.
- Week three took us to the Telluride Mushroom Festival. A lot of fun. Looking forward to next August.
- The last weekend of August I went to Red River, NM to visit and mingle with the New Mexico Mycological Society at their annual foray.
In September we started to tackle our specimens gathered from August. We did this by implementing a new protocol that I’ll discuss in a bit more detail in another blog. We also did a few extra forays, but perhaps the most memorable was the filming I did with Ed and Ikuko Lubow for the PBS show Urban Conversion. Whether or not we produced anything worth putting on television we’ll all have to wait until April when the new season comes out. That being said, I think we all had a great time collecting and talking about the importance of fungi.
October turned into another busy month of mycology and travel. The first weekend of the month I made my annual pilgrimage to Chicago to visit with friends and to take part in the festive trek around Chicago’s many neighborhoods, AKA the Chicago Marathon. One nice visit was to my friend Michael Simmons’ restaurant Cafe Marie-Jeanne. It’s relevant given the fungal inspired charcuterie plate we had there. [SHOUT OUT TO MIKE!]
I also was able to make a visit my old home, the Chicago Botanic Garden and sit down with Greg Mueller to chat about project ideas.
After Chicago I headed to Salem Oregon for the North American Mycological Association annual foray. This year was my first as the official Voucher Coordinator. The experience turned out well. Largely thanks to an excellent vouchering crew. The Voucher Committee is lead by Voucher Chair Patrick Leacock, myself, then Wyatt Gasswick, and Bruch Reed. Along for the experience was a great group of student assistants that included Stephen Russel (Purdue University, and North American Mycoflora Project), Christin Swearingen (U. Alaska – Fairbanks), Elise O’Brien (Lane Community College, Eugene OR), Chance Noffsinger (Montana State University), and not least, former CBG alumnus Nik Desai who conveniently resides in Portland.
With these folks, and the excellent contributions of the NAMA foray participants, we were able to make upwards of 330 collections, with a number of lichen species that had yet to be added to the total. All told we expect there to be over 350 collections – and nearly as many species – during an event that was supposedly held too early in the season. But I guess that’s what the Pacific Northwest is like for mushroom hunting. A “slow” year here would be considered a boon nearly anywhere else on the continent.
Now that we’re back, more or less, we’ve been accessioning this year’s collections using new accessioning protocols. I’ve also been courting our volunteers and students to contribute to this blog. Next month I hope to highlight some of the new protocols and perhaps introduce a schedule of topics you’ll be seeing in the future.
With this, I’ll wish you a Happy Thanksgiving chocked full of mushroom infused stuffing and gravy! Cheers…