Newsletter from our President 5/12/2014

  • Some notes to pave the way for a great start to our season of walks:
  • First, I would like to say “Congratulations” to the winner of our first morel contest, Henning Grentz! Henning sent beautiful photos of morels, found in Rosendale, next to today’s newspaper (authenticating the date found). Henning reports that he found a couple of black morels this past Thursday, May 9 in the Rosendale area.
  • The club holds “the first morel contest” every year as a way of tracking when morels appear in our area from year to year. There have been other reports of earlier sitings in Orange, Dutchess and in Ulster Counties. Henning told us that his  friend, Jens Verhaeg, showed him black morels  that he had found last Saturday, May 3rd, in the New Paltz area. So, if you find the first morel next year, please be sure to send us a picture (one that shows a verifiable date (according to the contest rules that are sent) so that we can keep track.
  • The club postponed its usual Mother’s Day walk morel walk this past weekend because none were found in our regular walk location near Poughkeepsie. Jill, our walks coordinator, has been working hard, as always, to schedule morel walks where people attending will actually be able to see and identify morels. Thank you Robert for scouting! It looks like our first morel walks will be this coming weekend. Stay, tuned to our website and your e-mail (members only) for the details.
  • Now that we are outside, hiking, gathering morels, other wild edibles, or just enjoying Spring hikes and mother nature, please be careful!! Deer ticks carrying Lyme disease are rampant in our area. It is not worth getting a debilitating disease for a taste of wild edibles or just to walk outdoors. There are many things you can do to prevent getting Lyme disease- a disease that causes neurological and muscular abnormalities. This and other websites have many links on prevention, diagnosis and treatment. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/lymedisease.html#cat57
  • Clothing, bug repellants, showering and inspecting for ticks are basic preventative measures. Wear light colored, long pants and shirts, tucked into socks so that you can more easily see ticks. A hat can prevent a tick from landing on your scalp from branches.
  • Most sporting stores have net pants and tops that also guard against mosquitos. There are now clothing lines with built in repellants. Bug spray with Deet is the recommended type of insect repellant to apply. You may find information about alternative -less toxic ones on the internet (although efficacy and strength may be based on anecdotal, not empirical, evidence).
  • Please also remember to wear appropriate footwear for the terrain to prevent injuries.
  •  Now that you are protected  ; ) , please remember to be gentle with and to PROTECT MOTHER NATURE. Remember that the plants and fungus we pick are not there just for us. Every living thing has its niche (or role) in the ecosystem. Do not over-pick any wild edibles and be careful about how you harvest them. Do not pick parts of the plants/fungi that you are not using. They all support a larger ecosystem. If you are using leaves, do not pull up roots. If there is a stand of greens only take a small portion (I have seen different rules of thumb from 5 to 30 percent).
  • The ecosystems that bring us wild edibles are fragile ones. As   demands for building decrease our wooded land and fields, smaller areas of wild growth are under more pressure just to survive and reproduce. While the mushroom is the fruit of the fungus, and picking it has not been clearly shown to affect the organism, we do know that the latter mentioned loss of habitat places pressure on the future of the fungus.
  • Last, but not least, remember to share with others. We have walks to educate each other. As we gain knowledge and expertise we share it with others who want to learn about fungi and safe identification. Remember Do Not INGEST ANY FUNGI that has not been positively identified. If you find positively identified edibles, keep in mind that sharing is not only nice, it is important. It helps others have a positive learning experience.
  • Hopefully you will never need this number, but If you ever suspect having mushroom  poisoning call the Poison Control Center hotline at 1-800-222-1222 for all poison emergencies.
  • Please respect the areas that we walk. Remember that we use the area to teach. If you are familiar with a walk area, we ask that you leave the area untouched. Do not pick there ahead of a group outing; leave the opportunity for others to see and learn about the fungi there.
  • Wishing Everybody Many Happy Moments Exploring Outside,  : ) Lisa

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