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Willamette Valley Mushroom Society Newsletter | September 2022

It’s finally fall in Oregon! Learn about Hypomyces lactiflorum or Lobster Mushrooms in this issue. We discuss mushroom dying, UV Night Forays, the Mushroom Toxin report by our Study Group and a list of our upcoming events!

Photo by Autumn Anglin, stages of parasitization of Hypomyces lactiflorum begging at white, then light orange, then bright red.


President’s Message

If you’re new to mushroom hunting, it’s a big deal to successfully find, ID, and prepare your first edible mushroom all by yourself. While WVMS always recommends having an expert confirm a mushroom is safe to eat, for most folks, at some point, you’re going to rely on your own expertise in making an identification. For me, as I imagine for many people, that first solo ID was the lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum). The telltale bright red color, crusty and bumpy surface, and, in general, absence of look-a-likes, makes this one of the easiest mushrooms to find and ID. Lobsters are now my first indicator that the fall mushroom season is kicking off – I typically start finding them inland around August 1 (though they appear earlier on the coast). This year, the inland lobster season has been a little tardy. We didn’t find our first lobsters until a few weeks into August.

You can definitely find these mushrooms in abundance (once you’ve secured a lobster mushroom spot) and many foragers face the challenge of what to do with multiple pounds of this red beauty. We grill, sauté, and basically put these mushrooms in everything. One innovative chef discovered that lobster mushrooms make fairly delicious lobster rolls! ( or search for “lobster mushroom lobster roll”). Best of luck out there fellow mushroom hunters and, as always, please reach out with any questions or ideas! Thank you again for being an important part of this unique community.

-Patrick Heiman


Photo by Patrick Heiman


WVMS Member’s Event Calendar

Bookmark this page for WVMS Member Events! This calendar shows all of our planned virtual and in-person events for the year.


Annual Potluck

WVMS Member’s Event Calendar

Bookmark this page for WVMS Member Events! This calendar shows all of our planned virtual and in-person events for the year.


Annual Potluck

We’re back! After two years of missed gatherings and zoom meetings, we saw some of our fungi community in person at our first in-person potluck for the club at the end of August 2022. We rented the pavilion at the Willamette Mission State Park and everyone brought delicious food to share. Our wonderful Membership Director and Hospitality Chair, Mariane Pope, organized this event and welcomed our members with Jordan Dodge and Autumn Anglin. After a few quick announcements, we all got to the important business of eating and visiting with our veteran members and new enthusiastic members. There were about 60 people that showed up at our zero waste event.

What a success! Did we mention the food was fantastic! And a special shout-out and thanks for the folks that came early, stayed late and manned the book booth, you know who you are. Having a group to share the work is the real beauty of a club.



WVMS Foray Fall 2019- Photo by Kerry Timberlake

The fall foray season has been released! Members can find it on our website at .

We will be doing more of the open for all members group forays (no guests allowed on forays) this year that do not require sign ups. We will also be doing some small scale forays that have a limit on how many members can attend and require members to sign up on our website. There is no limit on the amount of open for all group forays that members can attend, however members are limited to one sign up foray per foray season with an exception. In the last week of the small scale foray sign ups, if there are still open spots available, you can sign up even if you have already gone on one of these forays that season. If more people sign up for a foray than spots available we will use a lottery system to randomly select who gets to go, with a priority on members who are new and/or have never attended a foray before. We will start fall forays in September and host forays into December. Most of these fall forays will take place in the coastal mountain range and will be focused on Lobters, Chanterelles and so much more!

Look for the Fall Foray Schedule on our website

We need foray leaders/co-leaders and hospitality volunteers. Foray leaders will be provided with a club foray location unless you have a spot you want to share with the club, but it’s not required. Foray co-leaders will assist the foray leader on our forays, duties will vary depending on the location and foray format. Hospitality will provide coffee and tea during forays and maybe a snack like fruit and vegetable slices.

I look forward to seeing you all this fall!

-Jordan Dodge Foray Director

If you would like to lead a foray, please contact us at and we will put you in touch with our Foray Director, Jordan.

Remember, you must be a member (no guests allowed) in good standing, take the Foray Safety Class , and sign up on our website to join a foray.


Preserving A Massive Mushroom Harvest

By Jordan Dodge

Every mushroom hunter will eventually run into the same problem. You hit the jackpot, filled your basket with delicious mushrooms and now you have to figure out what to do with them all. Besides eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner you can preserve your mushrooms in a variety of ways so that you can enjoy them for several months to a couple years. The first thing I do before starting any preservation techniques is I thoroughly clean my mushrooms of all forest debris and dirt. It is a common misconception that mushrooms should never be cleaned with water, because it ruins them. Rinsing your mushrooms does not cause any harm or change anything with the flavor or texture of the fungi and has been scientifically proven. However it is not a good idea to soak mushrooms you intend to eat in water for any extended period of time or it will degrade the quality.

Photo by Jordan Dodge

Mushrooms consist of 90% water and when you cook them they expel the majority of that water. One way to preserve your mushrooms for a few months in the freezer is to dry sauté them. To dry sauté mushrooms you want to cook them in a pan until they stop expelling water. It is important not to add anything to the mushrooms when dry sautéing, not even oil, butter or seasoning. You want to stir frequently when dry sautéing so that the mushrooms cook evenly. When they stop exuding liquid, take the pan off the heat to cool. Once cool you can divide them up into freezer bags to store for a few months in your freezer. Now you have plenty of time to use all the mushrooms you harvested before they go bad. This is the preferred method for storing a large haul of chanterelles and hedgehog mushrooms or any delicious fibrous fungi.

photo by Jordan Dodge

Certain mushrooms I prefer to dehydrate to make them taste better and to preserve them for a couple of years. I do not cook and eat certain mushrooms fresh as I don’t enjoy the way they taste. I have to dehydrate them first which amplifies the flavors I enjoy while reducing the flavors that are undesirable to me. When I dehydrate mushrooms I set my temperature to 110 degrees, I check every 1-2 hours and run until the mushrooms are completely dry then I transfer them into glass jars for storage. When the mushrooms are dry enough to store you should be able to snap a piece off without tearing it. I prefer to dehydrate Matsutake, Boletes and Morels to enhance the desirable flavors, preserve and store any excess for a couple of years. When dehydrating large fleshy mushrooms like Boletes you want to remove the pores/tubes and then slice the mushroom into 3/8 inch thick wafer like pieces to ensure they dry completely and evenly. Morels dehydrate very easily and not much prep work is needed I only cut the large ones in half so that they will fit in my dehydrator better without getting smashed.

photo by Jordan Dodge

When on extended mushroom picking trips I will use a mesh air drying rack to keep my harvest from going bad. However you need specific weather conditions to ensure your mushrooms do not go bad. The temperature needs to be 75 degrees or above with low humidity. Mushrooms will lose a considerable amount of water weight through evaporation in just 24 hours. I have observed Morels losing around 60% water weight air drying in one day under ideal conditions. When I am ready to cook with my dehydrated mushrooms I will rehydrate what I want to use and add it to some of my favorite meals like Matsutake rice balls, Morel ramen or Porcini risotto. Mushrooms do not take much time to rehydrate and they can be added directly to broths or sauces or soaked in water for a few minutes to be ready to use. You can also powder your dehydrated mushrooms to use as a seasoning or for enhancing the flavor of soups and broths.

photo by Jordan Dodge

Jordan is the Chief Foray Officer for the Willamette Valley Mushroom Society. He is a WVMS Mushroom Study Group Mentor and Mycologist. Jordan owns and operates Lone Oak Micro Farms LLC where he cultivates mushrooms grows salad greens and microgreens.


Exploring The Forest At Night- UV Light Walks

By Autumn Anglin

Photo by Jim Scheppke

In the summer of 2021, I organized a Study Group foray at night during a new moon so the forest would be pitch black. We began our foray after dinner on a previously scouted path into the Sitka Spruce and Douglas-fir forest. We weren’t testing our survival skills, instead we were going on an adventure using UV lights to see what fluoresces under our lights. What Jordan and I discovered was another glowing world in neon color. That foray will forever be stuck in our minds and so I wanted to lead another one with more people deeper into the woods.

Around dusk the WVMS Funga Study Group hiked out into the Siuslaw National Forest, down a well beaten path. We all had just purchased a variety of different spectrum UV lights to take on our walk. It was still too bright for them to do any good but within an hour, as night crept in, that would change.. We stopped the group about a mile in from the trailhead and waited till our lights shined brighter than the surroundings. We wandered around looking for Monotropa uniflora (Ghost Pipes) and Hypomyces lactiflorum (Lobster Mushrooms). Then the moment came where the inky blackness turned to technicolor. The kids and I noticed all of the clothes we were wearing seemed to react to the UV lights and we had a mini dance party in the middle of the trail to get pumped for the hike back out.

I took the lead to get us back to the trailhead, and used my UV light to point out some interesting fluorescing things. The lichens on the tree bark lit up in a kaleidoscope of blues, purples and oranges. Some of the leaves were bright red and the logs filled with conks or crust fungi shocked us with their reflective galaxy. As I led the group out, it became too dark to see where we were stepping and so we started to warn the next person behind us about possible tripping hazards. Everyone was fully aware and in awe of the magic.

Photo by Jim Scheppke

During our adventure someone saw a fern that glowed bright yellow green. Jim Scheppke was able to capture that in a photo that was equally impressive. I found out later that that fern was dead and that fluorescent substance was some kind of fungi or bacteria breaking down the leaf.

photo by Autumn Anglin

I stayed with a cluster of Monotropa uniflora for about 15 minutes, photographing the flower heads using my Canon 80D and the UV light spotlighting the parts I wanted brightest. The stigma glowed a turquoise ring while the stamen anthers glowed a tangerine orange. This was all set against the purple blue of the petals and stems.

photo by Autumn Anglin

I also found a great patch of fruticose lichen that was attached to the bark of a Douglas-fir tree. When I zoomed in, it looked like the coral reefs under the sea branching in clusters. Sometime in the future I would like to do some UV macrophotography to really see how the light brings out those tiny worlds.

While most of us had 395nm UV Lights, Henry upgraded his to a really bright 395-405nm UV light. His light was a bit more expensive than ours, but really stole the show. We all called Henry over to look at something we had seen, all of us curious about what this specimen looked like under his light.

The colors in light visible to humans (400-700nm) are determined by the light wavelength. Humans can see a limited spectrum from red to violet compared to other creatures like birds and insects. There are other colors beyond our visible spectrum that exist and are invisible to us. As you can see in this graphic, there is a range of color above the red that is called infra-red. And the color below our visible spectrum of violet is called ultraviolet. This is where the UV lights work to fluoresce pigments in the fluorescent or phosphorescent to emit visible light.

The ultraviolet spectrum is broken down into subcategories depending on wavelength: