NAMA Foray History

 

ALL THE FORAYS YOU COULD HAVE ATTENDED

 

The North American Mycological Association

In Celebration of 50 Years of Annual Forays

Presents

A Brief History

Illustrated With Historical Photos:

 

All the Forays You Could Have Attended… 1961 through
2009

 

Larry Weingarten at the top of the continent at Copper
Mountain in 1997 by Maggie Rogers 

 

 

 

©North American
Mycological Association

336 Lenox Avenue

Oakland, CA
94610-4675

www.namyco.org



 

 

Elsie
Coulter, Alex Smith, Kit Scates – Priest Lake ’73 by Ben Woo

 

 Allein
Stanley & others at Flathead Lake shortcourse 1973 by Harley Barnhart

 

Orson
Miller and Kit Scates Barnhart at

Flathead
Lake ‘73 by Harley Barnhart

 

Orson
Miller, Sam Mitchell, Lee & Linnea Gillman, Hal Burdsall, ?? & Hope
Miller at Flathead Lake by H. Barnhart

 

Tula
Erskine and Bob Shaffer – France ’75 by Kit Scates

 

Fran
Neal, Paul Noel, Rene Pomerleau, Elsie Coutler, Lillian Gunderson, Dick Grinn
at Dartmouth ’75 by Kit Scates

 




ALL THE FORAYS YOU COULD HAVE
ATTENDED...1961 THROUGH 2009

Gathered
and edited from various sources by Maggie Rogers and Michael Beug

 

         The assignment:”How about a brief bit
on each of the NAMA Forays since 1961”? (meaning not including the
forays of the People to People Committee on Fungi, the predecessor to
NAMA). For those of us who’ve been foray attendees, that would sound an easy
task: just go back through the memory and the Mycophiles and the
Mycologias
.

Well...maybe...but
is it really that easy? Or “Easy to be brief?”

         Most librarians (and Maggie certainly is
a librarian extraordinaire) are compulsive about keeping publications by date
and stored “somewhere,” in this case, “somewhere” meant heading up the ladder
into the attic over the garage, then back to the study with the publications.
First task completed: Mycofiles and McIlvaineas in order by date.
And, of course, the annual foray programs, personal notebooks...comments,
photographs, pamphlets, fungal keys, memorabilia... Mike had any I, Maggie,
didn’t have... 

 

Next:
develop a procedure:

1.  Check indexes of the journal series. (If any
indexes exist…)

2.
Start into the personal records to see what notes and records were kept -  notebooks  
of photos, handouts, any notes for each foray attended...

3.
Develop a style and a dependable chronology.

 

Now:
Read on, for NAMA's 
“researcher/historian compilation” of the NAMA Forays from 1961-2009.
Herewith the result, for history or enjoyment -- or both!

 

1961 -- Portsmouth, Ohio. Host: C.W. Ellett.

         There were 104 species identified. No
descriptions available. Just that it was held, before our time....)      Knowledgeable persons, please reply with
additions, subtractions or memories.

 

1962-1965 -- Pellston, MI. These forays, according to some
earlier records, were  “hosted”  alternately by professors R.L. Shaffer and A.H.
Smith, setting the tone for events somewhere between “amateur” and “professional”
for attendees. What an opportunity for professors to meld the interests of
students and “amateur mycologists”!      Coincidentally
in 1962, once again 104 species were identified. In 1963, the number of species
was 144, 160 in 1964 and over 200 species were found in 1965.

 

1966 -- Pinkham Notch, NH: Hosts, R.L. Shaffer and R.
Pomerleau.

         Such a combination of personalities
those two were; the attendees must have loved it... And with two host
mycologists, more species were identified – a total of 256 were recorded.

1966 – Priest Lake, ID That same year, the Spokane,
Washington mushroom club held a second NAMA foray.

         Though Kit Scates and Dorothy Brown
were not specifically named as hosts, it would be hard to conceive of others in
that region in that role... The foray mycologist for Priest Lake was A.H. Smith
and 231 species were recorded.

 

1967 -- Pellston, MI. Host: Alexander H. Smith.

         He had helped create the earlier
forays, so Smith must have been ready ...

Michigan
was one of his favorite habitats, and became almost the “Holy City” for forays later
on. It was a record year for this site as a stunning 384 species were recorded.
Years later, Gene Yetter described Smith: “In his seventies, he makes his way
through the woods as quietly and swiftly as an Indian, seeming to see
everything...”

 

1968 -- Priest Lake, Idaho. The Spokane club, having tasted
success, offered another in that glorious region of Douglas firs and pines.

         A second opportunity for running a
foray resulted in an annual way of life for that club’s members and for
mushroom lovers from the Pacific Northwest -- and beyond. Hill’s Resort became
a mecca... And no wonder, the foray mycologist, A.H. Smith helped record 403
species – a record for Priest Lake.

 

1969 -- Pinkham Notch, NH. Host: H. E. Bigelow.

         One wonders if he modeled this foray
after the one hosted by Shaffer and Pomerleau in 1966 -- and if the specimen
gatherers ever compared collection results with the earlier foray. Which is
more fun -- the gathering or the resulting discussions of finds? This foray
turned up 280 species.

 

1970 -- Lake Itaska, MN. No club was named on our host
list: it will be up to those who attended to fill in this blank. But future
Minnesota forays proved both fruitful and fun, so a precedent had been set!
Usually morels!

         The foray mycologist at Lake Itaska was
R. L. Shaffer who helped record 252 species.

 

1971 -- Pellston, MI. Host: R.L. Shaffer. Evidently
recovered from the earlier Pellston forays, he led this one, centrally located
in the U.S. so that attendees could come at reasonable cost from all
directions. They were rewarded with 244 species.

 

1972  Priest
Lake, Idaho,

again hosted by the Spokane Mushroom Club, which by this time was high on the
list of popular sites.

         Their forays are always full of fun as
well as mycology: the annual table displays contest is a legend. Idaho’s Kit Scates
and Spokane’s Dorothy Brown were probably challenging everyone who attended to
come up with a more scientific point of view, though those chefs at
Hill’s Priest Lake Lodge may have had something to do with attendance!
A. H Smith was foray mycologist and an impressive 340 species were named.

 

1973 -- Flathead Lake, MT. This was the first NAMA foray
where Orson Miller served as mycologist.

         Though dry (as was the case on a great
many NAMA forays over the years, 244 species were recorded. The host was the
North Idaho Mycological Association under the guidance of Kit Scates (later Kit
Scates Barnhart). They may have leaned on the Spokane foray hosts for advice
(and maybe support) in running this one. Though the Northwest is a long way
from the East Coast, eastern adventurers began investing time and money to
attend. Allein Stanley on that '73 foray:

“It
was the only one Kit did as Chair. With good reason: the kitchen crew members
were not up to what we expected; they decamped before Orson's week-long class,
the first for NAMA. It was only the second time NAMA had offered a microscope
course.  It was dry: about the only mushrooms coming up were in the
cemetery or where things were being watered. The photo of me was at the picnic
we had at the end of the foray, where the nice cherry orchard owner had allowed
us to hunt under his trees. We invited him and he brought about a bushel of his
wonderful cherries. As it turned out, the week was wonderful. Not sure just how
many of us stayed -- maybe 20 or so. We sent Andy Miller to the nearest town
each morning for some breakfast fixings, again at lunch while we worked over
‘scopes and lecture material. Then in the evening, we all went the 10 or so
miles to town to have dinner. The restaurant baked their own bread, the menu
was superb, so our necessary choice was great.  But Wednesday
night the wind came in, blowing all night, putting an end to the evening
swimming; it blew all day Thursday, and by Friday brought in snow! Our
class was to end by noon on Friday in order to leave on Saturday to make a
plane in Helena. What with the weather, we decided to leave that afternoon,
following the snowplow across the state to Billings, where we arrived about 2
a.m. Next morning, we were at the airport early -- only to
discover
it had been closed the day before! So we decided to hop any plane going east
(aah, those were the days when you could do that!).  A most memorable foray.”

 

1974 -- Tuxedo, NC. Host: Allein Stanley, who began her subsequent history
of locating foray sites for NAMA with this foray.

         Allein has become a career foray coach:
to this day, her efforts are a strong part of the NAMA Foray program. Kent
McKnight was chief mycologist; Harold Keller introduced NAMA members to the
challenge of myxomycete field trips! 
Slime molds enter the scene! Orson Miller was yet another mycologist on
the scene. And with all this firepower, stunning 492 species were identified.

 

1975 -- Hanover, NH. Host: The New Jersey Mycological
Association.

         We can assume that it was through this
foray experience that Robert Peabody became habituated to foray leadership; he
and his New Jerseyites are still at it! Howard Bigelow was foray mycologist and
321 species were identified.

 

1976 -- Donnelly, ID. Here the South Idaho Mycological
Association was to move into offering forays.

          Orson
Miller was foray mycologist and 321 species were identified. This was the first
NAMA foray for Michael Beug who brought several of his students, including Paul
Stamets.

         Also that year, some NAMA members
attended a NAMA European Foray that had been three years in preparation, and 68
stalwarts “did mushrooms” with European counterparts in England, Scotland, Germany,
France and Switzerland. And at last the 1976 issue of McIlvainia
described a foray!



1977 -- Athens, WV. Host: The Mycological Association of Washington.

         How is it that a mycological group will
risk its future existence in order to put on a national foray?  It’s a challenging thought: the finances, the
transportation logistics; the finding of speakers may seem difficult enough;
even finding field trip leaders can be a challenge. Locating a suitable venue,
then praying for good weather for the field trip sites, calls for faith of a
special kind. Mushroom faith!

         Kent McKnight was foray mycologist. The
crew identified 325 species.

 

1978 -- Gualala, CA. Host: the Mycological Society of
San Francisco with Harry Thiers as foray mycologist.       

         Their members must have had a lot of
patience to explain where, on the long California coast, this site was located!
But the travel map showed a Redwoods State Reserve, and of course there would
be seaside forests. Their foray results must have been very different
from the previous national forays! Over 200 species were identified. In McIlvainea,
v.3, no. 2, 1978, NAMA president Harry Knighton mentioned that NAMA now had
seven Regional Foray Committees in his “History of the North American
Mycological Association.”

 

1979 -- Carrolton, OH. Host: Ohio. Foray mycologist: Joe
Ammirati.

         Back to the central U.S. -- how to
compare the previous years’ specimen lists to any of the above?  But Ohio has produced many mycologists over
the years, so there’s something drawing them; to this day, their current NAMA
membership list is impressive! The forayer participants brought in 314 species.

 

1980 -- Tuxedo, NC. Host: Allein Stanley, courageous enough to create
another foray!

         The season had been dry, but those
mountains offered fungi! Once it’s all over, and the exhaustion dissipates, the
feeling of pride for having sponsored a NAMA Foray must be delicious! Foray
mycologist Larry Grand oversaw the naming of over 400 species.

 

1981 -- Fort Worden, WA. Host: the Puget Sound Mycological
Society with their scientific advisor, Dr. Daniel Stuntz as foray mycologist.

         Though he was to live only two more
years, Dr. Daniel Stuntz, the beloved guru of Pacific Northwest mushroomers,
and long-time mycologist at the University of Washington, left a legacy: a
classical mycological library, a troop of enthusiastic, knowledgeable mushroomers
and a heritage of amateur and professional mycologists to carry on his work. Dan
Stuntz had co-founded the Pacific Northwest Key Council with Kit Scates
Barnhart and its members were present in force with their new keys for
identification of Pacific Northwest mushrooms.

         NAMA was off to the deep dark coastal
rain forests of Washington State: they may have seemed oppressive to mushroom
folk accustomed to wide open spaces or deciduous forests -- but these forests did
produce mushrooms! There were 350 species identified at this foray, though as
usual for a NAMA national foray, conditions were unusually dry.






 

1982 -- East Stroudsburg, PA. Host: the Northeast Federation
with Orson Miller as chief foray mycologist.

         Here, at my (Maggie’s) first
NAMA Foray, I first met Maine’s smiling, white-haired guru Sam Ristich,
striding fast down the aisle to welcoming applause from



 all his fans. The next day, my first field
trip, with Dr. Donald Rogers and his wife and Sue Hopkins. He taught me
“danger!” by showing me fist-sized ropes of poison ivy. Then we found truffles!
Oddly enough, not a single mycologist there knew the truffles; as a group, they
finally decided to send them in alcohol to Dr. Jim Trappe in Oregon,
(only to learn much later that the alcohol, and passage of time, had
scotched any possibility of identification!) Never-the-less, an astounding 488
species of epigeous fungi were identified.

 

1983 -- Granby, CO. Host, the Colorado Mycological
Society. Chief mycologist Orson Miller oversaw the naming of 322 species. There
we climbed, and climbed some more, and our delighted Sam Ristich found clumps
of Amanita muscaria, to his photographic delight, and Larry
Stickney was heard at noon shouting “Come rescue the mushrooms from the
janitors!”
  All the carefully cleaned
edibles had become endangered species! But we saved ‘em... and ate well...

 

1984 -- Dorset, Ontario. Host: the Mycological Society of
Toronto.

         Chief mycologist, David Malloch helped
name 318 species. This is the last foray where Harry Knighton maintained a list
telling us who was the chief mycologist and how many species were collected so
that part of the narrative changes from here on out. The Mycological Society of
Toronto offered wonderful field trips. Here, my first meeting with mushroom
stamp philatelist Bill Long, who was to infect me terminally with the mushroom
stamp collecting disease. The Foray program: the presence of the two sisters of
the deceased mycological artist, H.A.C. Jackson, of Mr. Jackson’s Mushrooms.
They’d seen to it that his marvelous mycological paintings were transformed
into a book, published by the National Gallery of Canada for the National
Museums of Canada. Included were journals of his work, unique and rich, making
this a mycological treasure. Four of his paintings would become se tenant
Canada Post issues: a coral, a trio of boletes, a pair of Cantharellus
cinnabarinus
, and two morels.          More
stamps to collect...and friends, too: so many familiar faces into my notebooks
of photographs!

         (...And here, in my notes, “Harley
Barnhart and Kit Scates...honeymooners!”
)

 

1985 -- Canaan Valley, WV. Host, the Mycological Association
of Washington.

         West Virginia claimed title as the 25th
NAMA Foray site, and in the notes of the trustees’ meeting, Harry Knighton, who
began all this, said he hoped to retire from his position as editor of the Mycophile
(having begun it in 1972). Much discussion followed. Nearly 200 attended this
foray.

         Harry and Ann Lubrecht, of Lubrecht
& Cramer Scientific Books, laid out table displays of mushroom books in
celebration of the anniversary. And Vince Marteka handed out Polish mushroom
recipes: GRZYBY ZE SMIETANA, and CLEAR BARSZCZ




and
MUSHROOM USHKA! Cabin Publishing announced that ROON: A TRIBUTE TO MOREL
MUSHROOMS was available (whatta treasure!). We received keys to C.T. Rogerson’s
Amanita in the Northeast,  Hygrophorus
of NE U.S., Mycena in the Northeast; Dark-spored Gilled Mushrooms in the
NE; 
Currie Marr’s Coral Fungi of
the NE U.S. and
H.E. Bigelow’s Northeastern Clitocybes of Summer
and Fall;
Roy Halling’s Field Key to Some Species of Collybia in the NE
U.S., and Macroscopic Key to Some Common Northeastern Marasmius Species,
by
Martina Gilliam, complete with tiny detailed drawings of the various structural
characteristics to look for. The food line seemed so long in the photos,
but cheerful conversations were possible, and my photo of Gary Lincoff and two of
his ‘ladies’ wearing matching t-shirts reading EAT MORE MUSHROOMS simply
added to the fun. This was possibly the most playful of all forays: even Bridge
Cooke is smiling in one of my photos!

 

1986 -- Priest Lake, ID. Hosts, again the Spokane Club.  

         Lots of West Coast folks, of course,
but so many adventurers from the rest of the country: Lee Muggli, from
Minnesota, clad in handsome Swiss pants and gaiters; Gary LIncoff and Sandy
Friedman, myco authors from New York City, Liz Farwell from Chicago (who later
took me to meet mycologist Dr. Rolf Singer, “but just briefly; he’s working!”),
Bill Long and his stamps, all the way from Michigan (did he drive, as
was his habit?), Otto Lang, from Canada, the Steins, from New York, and
California’s David Arora, who would stay after the foray ended and be led on a
special matsutake prowl by one of the owners of Hill’s Resort! Kit Scates was
in heaven: her territory, her mushrooms, and all her fans! Lou Heymann, the beloved
bookseller from California who’d been so invaluable to struggling student
mycologists like Walt Sundberg and Hal Burdsall. And even Andy Weil, before he became
the image of the other uses of mushrooms! Most surprising of all: Don
Coombs, editor of Mushroom the Journal, at the only foray he ever
attended! “I don’t collect, I publish about collecting...”

 

1987 -- Gulfport, MS. Hosts, the Gulf States
Mycological Society, with host mycologists Bill Cibula, NASA, and Clark Ovrebo,
Tulane University.

         The foray tips included avoiding poison
ivy, poison oak, chiggers, ticks, mosquitos, poisonous snakes (“watch where you
put your hands when collecting around logs”). 
The foray sites were keyed as “moderately difficult” to “easy”; only the
Magnolia Hunting Club with both upland and bottomland was judged “difficult.”
There we saw the beautiful Dan Guravich wildlife photography display; met
mushroom photographer Taylor Lockwood for the first time;  our faithful Lubrecht and Cramer had brought
their mycological and scientific book displays, and Ursula Pohl worked her
expected magic with edible mushroom dainties: chanterelles! Lee Muggli,
as “Myco Man!” literally flew onstage from the wings, upstaging Gary
Lincoff (usually an impossibility!), and David Arora wore his one pink, one
blue sock “for luck.” (Who’d ever have thought he could need it?) And David and
Pat Lewis were the truest of hosts...with their query “Is everybody sulfured?”
as the bus loads headed out to field trips.

 

1988 -- Isabella, Minnesota. Hosts: Minnesota Mycological
Society.

         This was the year of two classic
sweatshirt designs: the grey one for NAMA, the gold one for MMS: how to
choose??       Having been offered the
option of “a ride to the foray from the airport or from
the foray to the airport” by a Mushroom the Journal
correspondent I’d never met, I opted for the first, and was told I’d be able to
recognize him easily in the airport waiting room. When I arrived, I looked
around and saw a couple of men engrossed in their newspapers, but neither
looked up. So I proceeded to the luggage area. No one there. Went back to the
waiting area. Same newspapers. Worried, I headed back to the luggage area
again: no one left. Returning up the ramp toward the waiting room I was met by
a fellow carrying a newspaper and what seemed to be an oddly wrinkled light
brown head covering. Yep. The wrinkles were morel-shaped, and had been perched
just above one of those newspapers in the waiting room. (No, I’ve never have
been any good at seeing morels!)

          It was Malfred Ferndock, (nee Peter
Leach), creator of the Malfred Ferndock Catalog of morel gifts and objects! A
friend had constructed this morel look-alike “cap” probably just for this
occasion! With warm conversation, I was driven to the foray, and away he went!
And so to business, to find that we trustees had been gently warned by Marti
Cochran “to be on hand for the Trustees Meeting...the Policy Manual, you
know...” Business before pleasure...

         Our foray notebooks, containing the
“FUNGAL FIELD FORM” (ID form) in the handouts were the most complete of any so
far. Patrick Leacock’s four-page “MMS Picture Key to Common Minnesota Mushroom Groups
and Genera” was illustrated with his own drawings, c1985.  Many other handouts accompanied this,
including the most complete list of mushroom cookbooks seen yet. And also Gary
LIncoff’s “Nomen Vul Gary (Common Names)”-- to become the first NAMA
Song-sheet, along with a poster “Murphy’s Laws About Mushroom Hunting”:

                   1: No mushroom is
poisonous until you eat it.

                   2.  The best looking mushrooms are the most
poisonous.

                   3.
He who lives by the “foolproof test” shall become a statistic.

         This was the only NAMA Foray where I’ve
seen Aileen Stanley actually gathering mushrooms! And there I was asked
to dance by our dear Chuck Barrows, beloved by all who knew him, our smiling
mycologist from New Mexico.

 

1989 -- Carbondale IL. Host: This foray was Dr. Walt
Sundberg’s.

         NAMA
president Don Huffman led the Trustees‘ Meeting, with Executive Secretary Ken
Cochran faithfully scribing at his side. Don presented the President’s Service
Award to Steve Trudell for his photographic offerings and ever-ready “ability
with a broom” at forays. Harry and Elsie Knighton, the godparents of this
organization were here, keeping an eye on this swarm of mushroomer
“godchildren”! Here I saw for the first time Dr. Ron Petersen’s bound,
page-numbered, one-specimen-per-page Record Book: my photo reads “No.
2401, Marasmius aff. brevipes, 4/4/89, Japan, Tottori Pref.,
Kokufu town” -- ”young pileus, (etc.etc.).” 
And, too,  a funny photo:
grinning Ken Gilberg threatening an oblivious Sandy Scheine from behind with a
huge, wicked mushroom stipe!  Science
+ fun = NAMA Forays
. And some time later, a photo arrived from Jeannette
Taylor of the snow white hair, of me at my constant note-taking: indications of
future applications of that behavior...

 

1990 - Whistler, BC. Host: the Vancouver Mycological Society.

          For once, I was the driver, with three
passengers from Washington State, over the border from Washington into Canada,
uneventfully. From West Vancouver up the Charlotte Channel, good highway,
gorgeous scenery. We began the climb into high mountain country. Here the
highway construction began. Then the fog moved in. At the summit, truly fogged
in, I suddenly realized we were in the opposite lane! A fast
correction - just in time to avoid the semi-truck coming uphill toward us! The
foray gods were kind... the passengers were faint...

         Whistler Conference Center draws skiers
as well as mushroomers: the grounds, mostly vertically up and down as soon as
we left the building. Our Canadian mycologists were splendid hosts; the field trips
were lush with northwest specimens; the weather could not have been more
beautiful. Lee Muggli soon found an Amanita muscaria as big around as
his head; we were introduced, at the display tables, to the Canadian
Mushroom Checklist Project
of Dr. Scott Redhead and F. (Libby) Fox with
Biosystematics Research of Ottowa. Handsome 15” x 20” carrying trays helped
keep our specimens from being squashed from baskets to display tables.

         Wisconsin’s Dr. Hal Burdsall checked in
his fat notebook of ID keys; Dr. Jim Ginns parried puns with Gary Lincoff;
Dimitri, one of our Russian compatriots, a mushroomer from our earlier
Russia/Siberia trip, was there to learn more. Displays included five prime
specimens of Phaeolepiota aurea laid before a large framed, detailed
watercolor image, artist’s name too modestly written to read in my photograph.
Kit Scates and Lorelei Norvell represented our fairer sex in the roster of mycologists.

         But the most unusual display? A
tabletop 8x10 photo-series, two dozen prints of 
Noah, new son of Gary and Irene Lincoff, the new dad proudly laying them
out one by one as we watched!

 

1991 -- Paul Smith College, NY. Hosts: Mid York and NAMA.

         It was here “the butts were in the air”
-- Sam Ristich led forayers upward to lichens (half    fungi, right?) and Kit Scates pushed us to
our knees looking at leaf fungi (Taphrina’s black curls on scrub alder
greenery). Not all fungi looked like the usual mushroom book displays. This was
the foray where the “bog walk” became a joyous group of bog jumpers!
(Yes, there was water below that bog mat!) The spectacular Foray finish:
a lobster feed, where westerners learned the skills of meat extraction from
claws! And here Stephen Thomas told us of his father, author of that exquisite
and still so seasonally handy Field Book of Common Mushrooms, by William
Sturgis Thomas, M.D. (Putnams, 1928, 1936, rev. 1948). He, a medical man, had
tired of treating unnecessary mushroom poisonings. And so did what Julius A.
Palmer Jr., a New York newspaperman, had done earlier: Palmer had written in
newspapers his learnings about poisonous mushrooms, then published them in a
book, About Mushrooms: a Guide to the Study of Esculent and Poisonous Fungi
(Lee & Shepard, 1894), written to save the lives of foolish (or unwitting)
mushroom foragers.

 

1992 -- Angel Fire, NM. Host: New Mexico Mycological
Society. Led by Pat Brannen, mushroom dyer, superb cook and travel companion.

         Designed with tours of Taos Pueblo,
Ranchos de Taos Church, galleries and shops, offered for those not traveling on
the tour buses to the fungal fields and ski slopes of the area. New Mexico
“mushroom comments” were offered by New Mexico’s mycologist Bill Isaacs;
classes by Alan Bessette, (Spore Dispersal), Dick Homola (Dung Fungi), Kent
McKnight (Western American Cortinarius); a three-hour workshop by Hal Burdsall
(Culturing of Basidiomycetes, etc.), Miriam Rice (Fiber Dyeing), Bill Freedman
(Toxicology of Mycotoxins) and a discussion of Poison Centers and Mushroom
Identifiers, by Marilyn Shaw and John Trestrail. And that was just the first
day! That evening, Gary Lincoff expounded upon “Gastroid and Poroid Agarics:
Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg, and Why?”  

         The next day, the workshop by John
Corbin “Growing Pleurotus at Home” was followed by Mike Castellano (“Truffles,
Trees, and Beasts” ), Miriam Rice (“Papermaking with Polypores”), Allein
Stanley, at last  a presenter,
(Beginners' Introduction to Mushroom Families), Hal Burdsall (Introduction to
Fungal Genetics), Walt Sundberg (Mushroom Distribution in the Chiricahua Mts.)
Nancy Smith Weber (What’s New about Western American Pezizales ) -- followed by
a superb New Mexico Style dinner, and a “Tribute to Chuck Barrows, Mycologist”
by Maggie Rogers, (well-coached by Pat Brannen and their club), and Bill Isaacs
(Evolution in the Agaricaceae).  All this
was followed by top-hatted, nose hidden beneath a red ball, Alan Bessette, a
hilarious (and unexpected!) stand-up comic! How could there have been a
business meeting held after that? Only Don      Huffman,
NAMA’s tall, smiling president, could have done it.  And at evening’s end: Steve Trudell’s
now-traditional slide presentation of the myco-images of the annual Photo
Contest winners. Three hundred NAMA members came to this one -- from coast to
coast -- and six from Canada!

 

1993: Fort Worden, WA. Daniel Stuntz Memorial
Foray. 
Host: Puget Sound Mycological
Society.

         The decor: Jan LIndgren’s mushroom dyed
“puffs” on garden lattices. The best tribute to this foray: the words from PSMS
President Dick Sieger’s acknowledgements in our handouts: “Denny Bowman took
charge when the foray was conceived at Whistler. He gave us the courage to try
a new way of collecting, displaying, and studying mushrooms -- by their
habitats. If we are doing things right, it’s his fault."

         “Prof. Joe Ammirati is the NW
mushroomers’ best friend and has been since he came to the U/W. With grace and
wry humor, he somehow finds time to interrupt his crushing professional
schedule to help us.

         “The Pacific NW Key Council members
have perfected the art of foraying. It is possible to put on a foray without
them, but no one around here would want to try it.       “The Puget Sound Mycological Society members are hosting your
foray. At the same time, they are holding a local educational foray, rebuilding
microscopes, and guiding public policy. Everything they do, they do well.

         “Dr. Daniel E. Stuntz, 1909-1983, taught
us about mushrooms and about decency. He, too, is making this foray
possible." What a summary...

         Attendees: 535, many seeing the
Washington Coast for the first time. The Sparassis were enormous.

 

  1994: 
Asheville, NC. Dr. William Chambers Coker Memorial Foray.
Host:
Montreat Conference Center, Asheville Mushroom Club.

         This was the year Don Huffman could
finally turn the presidency gavel over to Allein Stanley; the year Ken
Gilbertson announced he was ready to make money for NAMA. Sam Norris taught us
the art of drawing mushrooms: “Capture the Feeling!”, and Sasha Viezmenski,
here from Russia, showed us just how gloriously his watercolors enhance these
organisms we treasure. Rhoda Roper brought her polypore “Fun-gems” to grace our
costumes, T-shirts were on and hats were in! Sam Ristich, with Lance’s
help, brought his framed spore art; Dr. Miller sponsored Cathy Cripps, (who
spent her time glued to microscopes in payment!) This was my introduction to
Dictyophora (it didn’t move, even with a half dozen photographers crowded
around), and myxomycetes littered the campus with their golden crusts. And it
was the year Minnesota’s and NAMA’s Lee Muggli left us forever. The Knightons
looked younger than possible for folk who’d invented this unique organization
called NAMA. A total of 391 came to see and to buy from Lubrecht & Cramer
book displays, to visit the music and art stores nearby, and to attend the
classes that always make better mushroomers/fungophiles or other such creatures
of us.

 

1995: Bemidji, MN. Host: Minnesota Mycological Society.

         The myxomycetes have finally,
since the advent of Dr. Harold Keller’s involvement with their kind, become
accepted at NAMA forays. Could it have been their proliferation at last year’s
location? Their presence has been a slow entry, but at this year’s foray, one
could pre-register for the Myxomycete workshop or the Lactarius
workshop, or the Paul Bunyan Mushroom workshop. It must have been a tough
decision for many. This foray was named the Mary S. Whetstone Foray, which gave
Judy Kenney, one of the MMS members, a research project in search of
information about Whetstone. She offered The Mycophile, NAMA’s
newsletter, a story on how she did this - and they accepted!  She had followed “mycelium-like leads” --
beginning with newsletters and meeting minutes. Then personal calls to those
who may have known Whetstone, and she was guided to Who’s Who Among
Minnesota Women,
where she found that not only did Whetstone found
the Minnesota Mycological Society, but was an MD. At the New York State Museum
Judy obtained letters handwritten by Mary Whetstone to mycologist Charles
Peck...and on and on went the search, finally leading her to notes that their Society
had begun with “twenty enthusiastic, intelligent members.” For more information
on how retrieve such information, in this case    on
“Women in Mycology” see Mycophile, May/June 1995, page 12 - and learn to create
a poster as well as an article, about your founders!

         There's so much more to mushrooming
than going out with a basket to the fields and woods; keeping the practice
alive calls for research, libraries, professors, universities, fascinated
amateurs -- and good weather whenever possible!

 

 

 



 

Timothy
Baroni, Elio Schaecter, ??. Dartmouth ’75 by Kit Scates

 

Irene
Lincoff, Sylvia & Philip Stein, Ursula Hoffman, Franny Neal at Dartmouth ’75
by Gerald Sheine

 

Howard
Bigelow, Greg Wright, Margaret Bigelow, Dan Guravich at Dartmouth ’75 by Harley
Barnhart

Scott
Chilton, John Fulton, Ken and Martie Cochran, Rolf Singer – Aspen Short Course
-76 by Kit Scates

 

Alex
Smith and Harry Thiers at Aspen workshop 1977 by Kit Scates

 

Athens
’77 Foray Awards made by Fran Davis, photo by Maggie Rogers

 

Harry
Thiers and Gary Lincoff Camp Gualala 1978 by Harley Barnhart

 

Joe
Mandell, ?? and Ruth Krasner at Camp Gualala 1978 by Kit Scates

 

Walt
Sundberg, Scott Chilton, Joy Spurr, Allein Stanley, Roger Spurr at Camp Gualala
’78 by Harley Barnhart

 

Joe
Ammirati and Harry Knighton at Carrolton ’79 by Kit Scates

 

VIP
Cabin Group at Carrolton ’79 (Knightons front left, Martie Cochran, Ken Cochran
and Kit Scates on right by Harley Barnhart

 

Ellen
and Tom Duffy, Elsie and Harry Knighton, George Grimes, Podo, Marie Grimes in

Austria
1980 by Kit Scates

 

Orson
Miller on foray at Fort Warden ’81 by Harley Barnhart

 

Donald
Rogers and Harry Lubrecht at East Stroudsburg ’82 by Maggie Rogers

 

Harry
Knighton with forayers at East Stroudsburg ’82 by Kit Scates

 

Emily
Johnson, Jeff Kibby, Hank Mashburn, Harley Barnhart East Stroudsburg ’82 by Kit
Scates

 

Cathy
Cripps and Sam Ristich at Granby ’83 both by Linnea Gillman

 

Gary
Miller and Selena White Feather at Granby ’83 cook and taste by Linnea Gillman

 

Alexander
and Helen Smith leaving from their last foray - Granby ’83 by Maggie Rogers

 

Sam
Ristich teaching short course at Granby ’83 by Linnea Gillman

 

Alexander
H Smith and daughter Nancy Weber at Granby ’83 by Linnea Gillman

 

Gary
Miller, Rolf Singer and Gary Lincoff at Dorsett ’84 by Linnea Gillman

 

Dorset
’84 – Larry Stickney and friend by Linnea Gillman

 

Kit
Scates, Liz Farwell, Ron Peterson

Dorset
’84 by Harley Barnhart

 

Rene
Pomerleau, Harley Barnhart, Maggie Rogers, ?? at Dorset ’84 by Kit Scates

 

Rytas
Vilgalys and family at Canaan Valley ’84 by Linnea Gillman

 

Gary
Lincoff and Chuck Barrows Canaan Valley ’85 by Linnea Gillman

 

Kent
and Vera McKnight at Canaan Valley ’85 by Linnea Gillman

 

Nancy
and Jim Weber at Canaan Valley ’85 by Linnea Gillman

 

Walt
Sundberg with foray participants at Priest Lake ’86 by Maggie Rogers

David
Arora ;  Allein Stanley, Jack Hausteter,
Gary Lincoff and Larry Stickney at Priest Lake ’86 both by Maggie Rogers

 

Bill
Cibula, Vivian and Bridge Cook, Gulfport ’87 both by Maggie Rogers

 

Gulfport
‘87 Mycologists by Maggie Rogers

 

Isabella
’88 Lee Muggli as Fungus Man by Maggie Rogers

 

Arleen
and Allen Bessette at Isabella ’88 by Gerald Sheine

 

Carbondale
’89 Sam Ristich by Maggie Rogers and Maggie Rogers by P. Stein

 

Jeff
Kibby (right) at Carbondale ’89 by Gerald Sheine

 

Ken
Cochran presides as Lee Muggli presents award for contributions to amateur
mycology to Maggie Rogers at Whistler ’90 by Kit Scates

 

Joe
Ammirati and Scott Redhead at Whistler ’90 by Harley Barnhart

 

Paul
Smith ’91 – Mycologists in disarray

By
Maggie Rogers

 

Susan
Mitchell, Jay Justice and Walt Sturgeon at Paul Smith ’91 by Maggie Rogers

 

Pat
Brannen coaches Lloyd Siegel on lobster dissection at Paul Smith ’91 by Maggie
Rogers

 

Leni
and John Schalkwijk at Fort Warden ’93 by Ron Meyers

 

Roy
Watling Surrounded by NAMA members including Steve Trudell, Pat Brannen and Sam
Ristich – Scotland 1995 by Maggie Rogers

 

Ascutney
’96 – Maggie Rogers, Elizabeth & Will Moses by Ron Meyers

 

Ascutney
’96 – Maria Maravigna at 100 by Maggie Rogers

 

Dean
Abel at Ascutney ’96 by Ron Meyers

 

Cathy
Cripps and Meinhard Moser at Copper Mountain ’97 by Vera Evenson

 

Copper
Mountain ’97 –

Dorothy
Brown by Maggie Rogers &

Jack
Murphy by Vera Evenson

 

Ben
Woo, Judy Roger and Cathy Cripps at Copper Mountain ’97 by Ron Meyers

 

Rodd
Tulloss; ??, Harry Thiers and Joe Ammirati – Copper Mountain ‘97 both by Vera
Evenson

 

Tom
Volk, Adele Mehta, Peggy Lane, Judith McCandless at Cape Girardeau ‘99 by Bob
Fulgency

 

Else
Vellinga with mushroom dyed woolens at St John’s U ’01 by Maggie Rogers

 



 



1996: Ascutney, VT. Host: The Northeast Federation.         

         Ah, Vermont: similar to Oregon in scale
and native cover, except for the tall Doug firs of Oregon. Ascutney Mountain
Resort was to be our meeting place. Getting there was easy though “paused” --
delayed airline connections: hurricanes were the culprits. Three hundred fifty
had registered for the foray. “Macrofungi conservation” was one of our topics:
they’re declining in Europe. Is it happening here? Another topic: polypores! A
handout by Doug Bassett defended their presence in America’s forests, and noted
that an Oxyporus nobilissimus from the Pacific Northwest has grown to
300 pounds, to 5’ x 3’ in dimensions. Is it a contender for “largest”? He’d
been studying polypores in Letchworth State Park, recording 92 species. He also
studied their decay of woody



plants,
listing 25 trees they munch on. Nature’s recyclers. This was candy for Sam
Ristich’s interests.  I saw more people
with magnifiers to their eyes than at any previous foray!

         With this many polypores, the fabric
dyers were delighted; their wares were situated near their dye sources. Susan
Hopkins was their leader: “I’ll be to dinner soon: I’ve got to put the
mushrooms on to simmer for the dyer’s workshop!” Her tiny shepherds and postmen
in mini-knitted garments charmed knitters and photographers alike. My camera
captured the “live images” George Riner had scanned from his computer system;
Milton Landowne happily held up his slime mold find on a wood chip; Dick Homola
held court over a tableful of varied specimens, and Tom Volk displayed a Perennioporus
fraxinea
for its portrait. Memory treasures!

         For once, there was a group portrait of
the mycologists - all nineteen of them! The last one I’d seen had been taken
years ago at a southern foray. They shuffled about, trading places, crouching
or stretching as the cameras continued capturing this multitude of mycological
specialization! It was here I found Dr. Richard Korf's MSA t-shirt reading “Bad
taxonomy can kill” -- the words surrounding a knife and fork beside a
mushroomed plate. (A shirt great for wearing at banquets...)

         Then, for once, I took time away from
the ‘shrooms and headed for a cemetery nearby and its old, lichened
gravestones: the camera captured some of their stories. One read “A man
of unbounded enterprise, of strict integrity, and an unfaltering friend.” Would
he have known these mushroomers?

 

1997 Copper Mountain, CO. Host: The Colorado Mycological
Society

         The name Sam Mitchel arises whenever
the Colorado folks talk mushrooms: he founded the Colorado Mycological Society
and the Herbarium that now bears his name; just ask Vera Evenson, its current
curator! So when the Colorado folk decided to host the NAMA Foray, he was there
in spirit (and in their hearts) behind each decision made.

         Dr. Sam Mitchel was the first curator
of fungi at the Denver Botanic Garden, so many of the Colorado mushroomers had
more than a culinary interest in fungi. In fact, one of them, Vera Evenson, in
1977, saw her Mushrooms of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountains
come into print! In it, she told how Mitchel “had led a thirty- year study of
the mycoflora of Colorado, collecting and identifying new species and building
the Herbarium of Fungi at the Denver Botanic Gardens. He died in 1993, but left
such a legacy for mushroomers!” It was Mitchel, in fact, who began the NAMA
Toxicology Program.

         The Mycofile announcement was
too inviting to resist, telling of the handsome Copper Mountain Resort, located
in the Arapahoe National Forest and its wide variety of close-by mushroom
habitats, the chairlift ride up so you could mushroom downhill...and
at 9700 feet altitude…that was worth considering! Chief Mycologist was Dr. Joe
Ammirati, knowledgeable about mountain fungi, joined by sixteen other mycologists
familiar with the Colorado fungus habitats. The final 1997 Foray Species List
was so long that in the May/June 1998 NAMA Mycofile, along with
editorial praise for Larry Renshaw and crew for organizing it so well, a
promise to continue it in the July/August 1998 issue!

 

1998  Asilomar,
CA.
Hosts: Fungus
Federation & Mycological Society of San Francisco

         You had to chuckle at the Mycofile’s
first article, reporting on the 1998 "Dr. Harry D. Thiers NAMA (FLOODS)
Foray":  “You might think --
particularly in view of the churlishness that can surface during large group
activities -- that only the foolhardy would attempt to accomodate 450 eager
mushroomers on an ever diminishing California coast during a gale-infested
February” (and on, describing the results) with ”mushrooms that are mere sodden
vestiges of their former selves…and field trips shunted to higher ground at the
last minute,” would lead to a festering surliness that might spoil a year’s
worth of careful preparation. But you would be wrong.”

         That Mycofile “summary,” written by
Lorelei Norvell, was probably the longest and most historically useful to foray
planners ever to appear in a NAMA newsletter. It should be required reading for
every group considering the offering of a foray! And it certainly resounded in
Ron Meyer’s article, “What was right at the 1998 NAMA Foray.” Lessons learned
don’t always make it into print. The species list appeared in the
September/October Mycophile, in company with the contest winners for
Ugliest, Rottenest, Tiniest, Rarest, and Best Fake Mushroom (a 76 Gas
ball on a stick, designed by David Wallis). In praise: the costumes were
colorful, imaginative, and astounding, the attendees list and program booklets
were just the right size, and the smiles on Harry Thiers’ face made it all
OK!

 

1999 Cape Girardeau, MO. Hosts: Missouri Mycological
Society

         August, in Missouri: Evidently another
year when the weather was less than perfect for mushrooming, though just fine
for mushroom growth. The species found, 182 varieties, began with Pluteus
pellitus
on Thursday afternoon and ended with the orange coral, Clavulinopsis
laeticolor
from Mingo Swamp, Sunday morning. (Patrick Leacock’s Foray
Voucher Committee final list did not, however, include those brought from
Anoka, Minnesota by a boletus fan!) Mycophile, November/December, 1999,
printed the list.

         This was a year of honoring the elders:
The Harry and Elsie Knighton Service Award was presented to Dr. Paul Harding,
Jr., a member of the Los Angeles Mycological Society and one of Dr. Alex
Smith’s first graduate students. The NAMA Award for Contributions to Amateur
Mycology went to 100-year-old Maria Maravigna of the Boston Mycological Club,
an internationally recognized mycophile best known for her beautiful porcelain
mushroom sculptures, collected avidly by many. A member of the Boston
Mycological Club for over 30 years, she was awarded an Honorary Membership -
one of only nine others, and was a writer, lecturer, painter, sculptor and
field trip leader for Boston mushroomers for many years.

         This was also the year that NAMA
established the Harry Knighton Memorial Fund, an endowment fund to support the
mycological education of amateurs.

         And the year of a NAMA Regional
Foray, at Wildacres, North Carolina. Unforgettable: the lovely red and green
“Christmas lichens” on many of the trees... and the unbelievable stupidity of a
woman who ignored the posted “DANGER: ALLIGATOR NESTING” sign and waded in to
swim in one of the lovely ponds as we watched in disbelief. As the mama ‘gator
started out to meet the woman, the nearby park ranger gunned his boat to chase
it back, and then delivered a terse, clench-jawed lecture as she gathered up
her clothes and left, pouting, with her male companion (who’d at least had the
sense to stay on shore)!

 

2000 Beaumont, TX. Hosts: Gulf States Mycological Society

         June…east of Houston and 45 miles north
of the Gulf of Mexico...”Biodiversity of the Gulf Coastal Plain, where the
Tropics meet the Temperate Zone. Plan to enter the Big Thicket area of Texas
and the Kisatchie National Forest of western Louisiana, the Biological
Crossroads of North America: weird tropical and sub-tropical species ...and a
hint that the mycophagy would also be outstanding...”

         With Pat and David Lewis heading this
one, it promised to be a shoo-in for popularity. And was! Not only was
the hunting unique for folks from other parts of the U.S. but the Texas
hospitality was celebrated with dancing and hilarious evenings. No alligators
this time...just lots of fun and mycologizings!

 

2001 Collegeville, MN Host: Minnesota Mycological
Society

         Mellow and rested upon arrival, I’d
taken the train route. What a fine way to be spoiled by food, service, and
solitude! And the campus experience simply lengthened the mood. Try it!

         Anna Gerenday and Robert Fulgency co-chaired the Foray. They knew the campus and the
surrounding areas, so the registration form was informative beyond just the
program: what to bring, the weather, the St. John’s Bookstore -- and the library!
My interest in calligraphy had drawn me to see the displays of pages of the
growing St. John’s Bible, an astounding creative effort by many calligraphers’
renderings in art and hand lettering on vellum, of page after page of the Holy
Bible, headed by British calligrapher Donald Jackson.

         I must confess I was also drawn away
from the mushrooms to the campus library by an unseen thread -- which became a
surprising gift: by sheer chance (and a bit of determination) I was to find a
trove of Japanese haiku about mushrooms and mushrooming, compiled by R.H. Blyth
for use by R. Gordon Wasson!   

         Here are two:

                                      The first mushrooms;

                            What a lot of stones

                                     That
look just like them! (Kuju)

 

                                     Matsutake;

                            From the depths of
the pine forest

                                     The
voice of the hawk.  (Koya)

 

Compilers
Kelly Chadwick and Renee Roehl have included a dozen more of these in their
mushroom poetry collection, Decomposition: An anthology of Fungi-inspired
Poems.
(Idaho: Lost Horse Press, 2010)

         Much transpired here: Workshops
on Identification (of course!); Dyeing Silk with Fungi; Papermaking with Fungi;
Touring of a Forest Mushroom-Growing Facility; Tour of a Pottery Studio; a
dozen foray sites, plus the campus; nineteen mycological, one
myxomycetological, and  microscopy presentations
by NAMA members, plus more...  Enriched
by all this, we enjoyed perfect weather and socializing...

 

2002 Diamond Lake, OR Host: Oregon Mycological Society

         The NAMA Foray Team was comprised of
seven capable members. The two Oregonians who bore the brunt of it, Judy Roger
on Programs; Jack Hausotter for Forays, were champions. Judy’s
experience with NAMA’s forays and with Oregon’s forests; Jack’s years of
teaching mushroomers mycology and natural history in Southwestern Oregon: just
what the field trips needed. Dr. Mike Beug, with his delightfully named “Who Is
My Daddy? Mushroom Relationships,” was particularly aiming at beginners; book
sales, as ever by Lubrecht & Cramer, provided respite for some. Of the
dozen programs, Brandon Matheny had the quirkiest title: “The Shaggy, the
Smelly, and the Lonely: Inocybe of the PNW,” while Steve Trudell took
listeners down under with “Mycorrhizal Fungi: Foundation of our Forests” and
Tom Volk preached of “Bridgeoporus nobilissimus, the Most Noble
Polypore.”                                                 

         Three
foray formats -- early bird, morning, and all day, kept mushroomers prowling
the Doug fir, Lodgepole pine, Engleman spruce, Shasta red fir, Ponderosa pine,
and Pacific rhododendron forests, plus other unique areas, such as a 272 foot      waterfall area and dry Ponderosa
terrain...Oregon offered its all!

         Car forays took riders long distances
for the autumn’s corals, truffles, Hericium and Hydnum repandum; as
far as 50 miles away foragers were hunting in rocky, landslide areas.

         Nearly 200 attendees braved the
distances and the isolated area for this foray, and few regretted it. Some
probably stayed over for the now well-known Breitenbush Mushroom Conference,
held just over a week later in October, where Paul Kroeger and Nancy Smith
Weber continued to teach forayers the identification clues of these jewels of
the forests, and at least a few Easterners stayed on for a trip to
top-shattered Mt. St. Helens and downtown Portland.

 

2003  Quebec
City, QC
Hosts:
Seven regional clubs: Le Cercle des Mycologues de Montreal and le Cercle des
Mycologues Amateurs de Quebec

         Housing? A nine-story dormitory with
two rather creaky elevators! Fun!

         A NAMA Board of 25 members met for the
usual concerns; reviewing the finances and at closing, observing a moment of
silence for two NAMA members who’d served in so many ways this unique
organization: Jack Hausotter, Oregon, and Kit Scates Barnhart, Idaho. 

         The entire foray event was bilingual,
with excellent translators, for which all of us with creaky or no French were
grateful!  This set the tone, and the
invited presenters did double duty, each giving two classes, one in
French and another in English!

         Speakers included Irwin Brodo (have you
lifted that lichen book?); Andrew Coughlan, a mycorrhyzist; Gary
LIncoff, Scott Redhead, Walt Sturgeon, and many others: both countries were
well represented by capable speakers.

         The display areas did bollux the NAMA
voucher system, since only one collection each of any specimen was on display,
making it tough for Allein Stanley, Adele Mehta, and Jerry Scheine to collect
the voucher specimens to go to the Field Museum’s NAMA herbarium. Yves
Lamoureux had designed such handsome table signs for each genus that
information about the genera, presented in both French and English, was easy to
understand. The winner program must have been the evening
introductions, with Raymond Archambault as MC and his translator (“even though
Archambault could speak perfectly good English!”), doubling up the audience
with laughter. Lots of singing and dancing in the evenings made much fun for
all, and the Trustees’ Report on the State of NAMA  “We’re in good shape!” left everyone feeling
assured.

         The “take-aways”: all attendees
received a CD, a key to The Tricholomas of Quebec, produced by Yves
Lamoureaux and Jean Despres, and the meals’ placemats were a simple photo-key
to the Lactarius of Quebec, done in the same style.

 

2004: Asheville, NC Hosts: NAMA and MSA

         Ann Bornstein coordinated registration,
using those amazing skills she’s always applied to the annual roster of NAMA
members. The program noted our presence at the University of North Carolina at
Asheville, and that this was, indeed, to be a Joint NAMA/MSA Foray.

          The twenty-five trustees arrived July 13,
early, as always, for the annual Trustees Meeting, with lively exchanges at the
meeting tables. How many of the discussions would transform into action? Long
meetings make this difficult, and later reading of “cold” minutes later on
can’t hope to  bring alive again the
energy or even, in some instances, the intent, as well as their proposers had
hoped. NAMA is a widespread organization, 1076 members: the total budget
expenditures for that year: $39,550.

         The rest of the attendees, arriving two
days later, began settling in, with registration starting at 1:00 p.m. The
evening program, Gary Lincoff on “Mushrooms and Mushroom Stories of the North
Carolina NAMA Forays” (and who better to tell such anecdotes, i.e.
“Remember the year that Jack Czarnecki ran the mycophagy session in the infirmary?”)
Gary was a tough act to follow, but Andrew Methven, describing “Southern
Forests; Southern Fungi,” was equal to the challenge. We left prepared, nearly
200 of us, across state and national borders and applied ourselves with honor:
the display tables were loaded.

 

2005: La Crosse, Wisconsin Hosts: University of Wisconsin,
Forestry

         Just over 200 came to La Crosse in
July, signing our “Liability Release and Promise Not to Sue,” and bringing with
us our printouts of our “Educational Efforts About Fungi” to present to the
NAMA Education Committee. The Lacrosse Tribune had covered our arrival
and planned activities, along with a clip of the wet weather report for the
region. Tom Volk had emailed a warning that "It had been a dry year (“The
Dreaded NAMA Curse”) and urged us to arrive but not pick any fungi within 25
miles
of La Crosse -- and if any of us had been inundated with rain from
Hurricane Dennis, to please bring as many mushrooms with us for educational
purposes as we could!

         Judy Roger’s later Mycofile
review praised the help from students in getting forayers settled in -- and the
tasty college food “equal to that from good restaurants.” 

         The Trustee’s Meeting dealt with the
usual housekeepings and future-planning, plus a desperate plea from Ben Woo to forget
the "Committee on Common Names"; that it was “an unachievable goal at
this point in our history” -- and to recommend to MSA that they do the same.
Mike Wood had redesigned the NAMA website, now online since May 2003. Dr. Mike
Beug’s annual Toxicology Report (13 pages of case histories, including
the Gymnopilus sp. poisoning of "a dog, sick and staggering as if
drunk”) which did stagger the Trustees...

         By the end of the Foray, Pat Leacock,
Voucher Collection Chair, reported 325 species collected: 5 species of truffles
found by Roseanne Healy, and 55 species of lichens ID’d by Will-Wolf, Trest and
Nelson, who’d coached many in their fascinating lichen workshop. Largest
fungus: Paragyrodon spaerosporus, a bolete.     Cryphonectria parasitica, the chestnut tree killer, and a
young Fistulina hepatica also made Judy’s review. Lichens, not always
recognized in NAMA forays, (even though they’re related) were here to be
studied in a workshop by Susan Will-Wolf and two compatriots, and Sean
Westmorland’s “Spine Tingling Fungi: It’s Like Pulling Teeth” dealt with those
dye-producing toothed ‘shrooms the dyer’s always seek. This foray’s session
titles all were delightful!

         Field
trips included a visit to a chestnut blight area, where inoculated trees had been inoculated, “diapered” and studied;
the Lab is looking for a fungus that will kill the Cryphonectria that
has destroyed the American chestnut forests. (Nursery stock imported from China
in 1904 carried the disease; Spain and the U.S. are working -- and succeeding --
with current research.)

         Gary Lincoff’s evening presentation,
titled “Faith-based Mycology”, spoofed President Bush’s “mushroom hunt” for
political representatives of European nations, leaving everyone limp with
laughter. (Yes, a copy exists in these files!)

 

2006: Hinton, Alberta Host: Edmonton Mycological Society

         The drive from Oregon northward took us
through British Columbia’s mountains, where evergreen forests were no longer
green, but a diseased dull rust color for mile after mile. It was
heartbreaking. It’s hard to admit that nature’s cycles don’t always fit our
ideas of beauty. But by the time we passed through Jasper National Park and
arrived in Hinton, Alberta, green forests soothed and comforted. We were
meeting at the Hinton Training Center, just the place for our boots and
baskets! Martin Osis and his team were offering a weekend of field trips of
diverse sites: from "almost level to near-vertical," as some of us
found as we topped the Continental Divide!

         Hope Miller had brought books: the new Falcon
Guide to North American Mushrooms
. Autograph seekers bought and waited for
her signature. And in an adjoining area, artists of the area displayed fungi in
many forms, for this was a recognition and celebration of the originals
of the illustrations in Mushrooms of Western Canada, by Canadian
artist/mycologist Helene M.E. Schalkwijk-Barendsen. (Each one had been re-painted
to become the illustrations in her 1991 book, published by Lone Pine, of
Alberta!) Self-trained, she’d corresponded with mycologists everywhere for
this. (If only we could have met her...but she, too, is gone now...)

         Warnings and instructions: How to deal
with greeting a grizzly bear, a black bear and/or a moose; how to deal with
high altitudes (read  “Continental
Divide”); how to tell the difference between a bog and a fen. Natural history
in all its forms!

         The first evening program was gripping:
a local model investigation of how trees can be "extracted" (read
"logged") without harm to wildlife or upset of nature’s balances.
These wooded surrounding areas were rich with fungi; the identifiers busily
covered display tables as the specimens began to arrive. Photographers prowled
while volunteer Mike Wood sat in for absent Jerry Scheine, NAMA’s usual voucher
specimen photographer, (who's captured each of the specimens for the herbarium
at the Field Museum for years now). Exacting recorder Adele Mehta coded
specimen data into the voucher database, letter by letter, before helpers
carried them to tables with Tom Volk’s handsome poster-guides to genera.

         The awards at the Saturday night
general meeting: for Contributions to Amateur Mycology: Dr. Michael
Beug; the Knighton Award for Teaching, Identifying and Promoting NAMA in
his region to Richard “Dick” Dougall of the Western Pennsylvania Mycological
Society, and the President’s Award to deserving Ann Bornstein for her
many and accurate years of service as Membership Secretary.

         As the astounding array of chocolate
desserts slowly diminished, the awaited announcement: "NAMA Foray 2007:
plan to head to Pipestem, West Virginia, 2007!"

         It’s difficult to face, but our ranks
of mycological master teachers have begun to thin: this year we’d lost Dr.
Orson K. Miller Jr., whose former students carry on his teachings: our Chief
Mycologist for this foray, Dr. Cathy Cripps, shared his charm and the skills
she’d learned from this wonderful man as she delivered the evening’s lecture.
Steve Trudell’s photo of Orson, Hope, and Cathy was a fitting memorial in the Mycophile,
Sept/Oct 2006. NAMA president Ike Forester put it so well for all of us: “I’m
sure that whenever I’m in the woods, mushroom basket in hand, a big part of the
experience can be traced back to a remembrance of something Orson showed me or
said. He’s not really gone.”

         Elsie Knighton, who with Harry, founded
this important association, is also gone after her years of service and
support. Others, too: Scott Chilton and Dr. C. Wayne Ellett, who’d headed the
first of these annual NAMA Forays. And more...

         We learn from them, we learn to
treasure them, and we remember them as we hit the woods -- and the library
shelves...

 

2007 Pipestem, WV The NAMA Orson K. Miller Memorial Foray

         If you couldn’t make it to this
foray, go to your files of The Mycophile for the experience! Two able
writers, Dave Wasilewski (East Coast) and Debbie Viess (West Coast), very
different in their approaches, described how they lived this foray. Dave, new
to national foraying, was a “first-er” -- seeing for the first time the difference
between “foraging” and “mycologizing for the unique, local specimen.” He
reveled in the myco-mix of scientists, mycology students, photographers, nature
lovers, and “McIlmaniacs like myself...It was my entry into the Shroomunity!”
He told of the “well-known car rental outfit that had lost the paperwork
supposed to guarantee our vehicles” and kudo’d the scrambling of the
transportation hustlers. A member of the New Jersey club, living far from their
meetings, he'd gotten to meet fellow members for the first time. Like many
who’ve cared enough to study, fruitlessly, the pre-sort and display tables, to
ask where X might be found, and then he actually spotted it in the
evening slide show! And later, thanks to Debbie Viess, received an email of the
exact specimen he’d seen during the hunting... His summary: “Scouring the woods
in the name of science in order to collect such things as eighth-inch-wide
pinwheels atop thread-thin stalks attached to dead leaves produces a unique
sort of satisfaction...and all this in the company of others...”

         Debbie Viess, a constant at NAMA forays
for some years now, took another approach: that of first seeking variants of
her favorites, the Amanitas and their relatives; then moving into varieties of
experience: edibles -- chanterelles of all sizes and colors; evening panoramas
in the unfamiliar eastern forests, and species of evening bats; black earth
tongues, orange eye-lash fungi, stalked puffballs, and “the charmingly named
“dead man’s fingers”...appearing soon at a picnic near you!” Her description of
the Sparassis spathulata, “this crisply delicious edible…its blunt edges
resembling a stiff lace collar from Elizabethan days;” and the experience of
cutting into Gyroporus cyanescens, watching it turning instantly to ink
blue, then later to blue-green...

These
are the eyes of mushroomers who appreciate both art and science. These are the
eyes of NAMA  Forayers!

 

2008  McCall,
ID
Host: South
Idaho Mycological Association

         It was a collaborative effort among the
Idaho clubs, and what a site for it. The boletes were out in force; a
commercial picker stopped me outside the campground and asked if anyone was
buying...

         Perfect weather, a comfortable woodsy
area, unique displays of 'shroomy items at the sale tables, including the beautiful
paintings of former Forest Service illustrator Paula Fong, all the way from
Grants Pass, Oregon with a scientifically packed van of display equipment and
merchandise; of clever tiny mushroom ornaments created by members of the Foray
Committee, of posters, cards and all the take-homes we always look for at
national forays. McCall is known as a winter ski resort; not as well known,
perhaps, as a summer mecca for hikers and folks with fishing poles, but it was
certainly what this foray needed.

         For the first time, a silent auction
was held of the many books and papers left to NAMA by various authors,
collectors, and those no longer with us. Bruce Eberle demonstrated his
capabilities in organizing this so that the items could be browsed while
waiting for the dinner, and the bidding -- and capturing! -- was something to
see!

         It was after the dinner we shared our
final farewells to Dr. Orson Miller with Hope, as friends stood to speak. It
was there the long hall of identifiers worked their hearts out in the autumn
temperatures, some with good memory, others trusting technical equipment and
manuals! Toward the end of one day, in drove Dr. Rod Tulloss, a long way from
home, to the sighs of relief from those trying to work on his specialty, the
Amanitas...

         It's interesting how eventually the
folk of national forays begin assemble in one's memory like a grand picture
puzzle of faces, names, and locales; 
without good notes, carefully "filed" (somewhere besides in the
mind) one eventually cannot sort one foray year accurately from another. But
this was one of the forays where the attendee group wasn't quite so huge, the
accomodations were woodsy, and the mycelia were at their best in bringing up
fruiting bodies: a more casual and relaxed time.

         The complexity of creating and then
closing a foray is unimaginable until experienced: the decision to host a
foray...the selection of date and site...and then the unexpected! In 1991 Steve
Trudell and Sally Graupman assembled a compilation of suggestions and ideas for
putting on forays -- of any size. The people arrangements, the planning for
receiving, logging, photographing and displaying specimens, the food serving
questions -- all the details that have to be dealt with were in that document.
It has saved the spirits of planners over and over again... and continues to do
so. Each of us has something to contribute: a foray is more than naming the
mycological specimens!

 

2009 
Lafayette, LA 
Host: Gulf States
Mycological Society

         A Thanksgiving Weekend NAMA Foray? For
possibly the first time, a foray centered at a major city hotel: the Holiday
Inn! “We will have ample space for dining, presentations, presort, mushroom
displays, and bus and car parking!” promised the announcement. Not many forays
have been held “in the city” -- but as ever, the coordinators, ably coached by
Pat and David Lewis of many mushrooming forays, were inventive and aware that
travelers may be interested in “more than mushrooms” -- and had included lots
of special travel explorations: Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Park,  the Louisiana State Arboretum, Nature
Conservancy property at Lake Martin, and others. Field trips were varied:
wetlands, beech-magnolia-loblolly pine slope forest; live oaks and water oaks
-- and of course, a cypress swamp!

         Were there “critters”? Of course; you
can’t mushroom without mosquitoes or ticks or other biting organisms -- some of
these local critters were just BIGGER! Because it was a holiday weekend,
perhaps some NAMA members couldn’t attend who wanted to...but that’s the great
thing about NAMA Forays: there will always be another one next year!

 

                                                        *****

         This is where this history pauses. The
forays continue, and other historians may be the scribes for remaining forays.
But have you any idea just how many memories were recalled in the gathering of
these words? Too many to recount; never enough to satisfy! It’s been an exacting,
memorable and pleasurable task. Isn’t it time to gather more memories like
this? Sign‘em, send ‘em, and see them as history!

        

         Maggie Rogers and Michael Beug,
editors/compilers, of “All the Forays You Could Have Attended, 1961-2008,” with
thanks to all those who shared...

 

            Acknowledgments: We wish to thank NAMA President
Robert Fulgency for his encouragement and support in preparing this booklet. We
are in debt to all of the photographers who have supplied historical photos
from past NAMA forays as well as to photographers no longer with us whose works
had been donated for educational use. The photographers include Harley
Barnhart, Kit Scates Barnhart, Michael Beug, Vera Evenson, Robert Fulgency,
Linnea Gillman, Ron Meyers, Maggie Rogers, Gerald Sheine, Phil Stein, Walt
Sturgeon, and Ben Woo.

 





Diamond
Lake ’02 – Michael Beug and Sandy Sheine both by Gerald Sheine

 

Maggie
Rogers, Carlene Skeffington and friend at Diamond Lake ’02 by Gerald Sheine

 

La
Crosse ’05 - Ron Spinosa, Mark Chekola, BJ & Bob Fulgency, John Mikesh,
Peggy Lane, Lee Moellerman, Adele Mehta, Dean Abel, Tom Volk by Bob Fulgency

 

Hinton
’06 – Foray group in Jasper by Bob Fulgency

 

Ursula
Pohl prepares Suillus at Hinton ’06 by Bob Fulgency

 

Ron
Spinosa, Ursula Hoffman, Jerry Sheine & others at Pipestem ’07 by G. Sheine

Dining
at Pipestem ’07 –  by Robert Fulgency

 

McCall
’08 – Cathy Cripps, Don Huffman, Vera Evenson by Linnea Gillman

 

McCall
’08 Mushroom Tasting – Ike Forester, Ursula Pohl and Pat Lewis by Linnea
Gillman

 

McCall
’08 – Hope Miller and her quilt with high bidder Walt Sundberg by Linnea
Gillman

 

Lafayette
’09 – Walt Sturgeon, Bill Roody, Jay Justice by Gerald Sheine

 

Lafayette
’09 – Clark Ovrebo, David Lewis and Patrice Benson by Gerald Sheine