For this moment, Dane was the king of King Boletes.

Dane Osis and His Morel Motherload

Dane Osis is a 35-year-old Park Ranger at Fort Stevens State Park, just outside of Astoria. He grew up on the Oregon Coast and learned to forage beginning in his early twenties from a neighbor. For the past nine years, Dane has led mushroom programs and hikes at State Parks up and down the coast. … Continue reading

Dane and a hefty cauliflower mushroom.

Share your stories: Join the Community Reporters Project!

We are seeking stories by and about mushroom foragers or cultivators in Oregon. If you love mushrooms – or know someone who does – please join our Community Reporters Project. We have questions; please interview yourselves, your family members, co-workers, children – whoever has a good mushroom story to tell. Send us your answers in … Continue reading


Doing the Mushwalk

As a contribution to the Oregon Mushroom Stories, artist Corey Lunn made this looped animation of a golden chanterelle speed-walking along!


The Secret Sound of Spores, a musical installation

Mycologists estimate that during its lifetime, a single mushroom will drop as many as 16 billion of its seed-like spores. You can capture these spores on paper if you take a spore print (instructions here), but in nature, the slightest wind carries the spores far and wide. In a breath-taking sound and art installation that … Continue reading


Introducing our project

In my earliest memory of hunting for chanterelles, I’m squatting on squishy fir needles. (I would have been four, maybe five years old, so I didn’t have to stoop very low to reach the ground.) I’m chasing mushrooms from one to the next, always able to look up and find another golden bit poking out. … Continue reading


Lost hedgehog hunters, rescued!

Last week, with wonder and relief, I learned that the three mushroom pickers who had disappeared in southwest Oregon near the coast were found after six nights without food or shelter. Using a sheath knife and a dead cellphone, Dan and Belinda Conne, both 47, and their 25-year-old son Michael, signaled to helicopters overhead through … Continue reading


Humongous fungus

Oregon is home to the largest known living organism in the world. In Malheur National Forest, near the eastern edge of the state, a network of mycelium stretches underground for 2,384 acres, an area as big as 1,665 football fields or 4 square miles. Scientific American (October 4, 2007) reports that this sprawling organism is … Continue reading

Jae Rhim Lee wearing the Mushroom Death Suit. Image: Mikey Siegel

I’d like to die in a Mushroom Death Suit

Artist Jae Rhim Lee has been working to create a Mushroom Death Suit. Yes, this is a suit that turns a corpse into living mushrooms. Specifically, these ninja-looking outfits have threads woven throughout that have been infused with very carefully selected mushroom spores suited to decompose bodies. An embalming fluid – to be released postmortem … Continue reading


“Are you really, seriously suggesting that Jesus Christ was a mushroom?”

From an interview of John M. Allegro, author of The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross, found on the absolutely wonderful blog Paddestoelen Paradijs, out of a gallery in Amsterdam that is doing mushroom art projects. You can read Allegro’s writing on the subject in a series of articles for the London Sunday Mirror in 1970 … Continue reading

Fresh Air, full of spores

On the NPR show Fresh Air, Terry Gross recently interviewed mycologist Nicholas Money, who studies mushrooms and mold. His new book, Mushrooms, looks at the history and science of mushrooms around the world, and their inclination to grow just about everywhere (including the back of a man’s throat.) “Every breath that we take — from … Continue reading


Cats crave mushrooms

NPR recently reported on why cats crave mushrooms (January 7, 2012). I didn’t even know that they do! [Source: Feasting in the Skagit Foodshed.] The story sheds light on that very meat-like quality of mushrooms, which are similarly high in protein and glutamate – one of the chemicals responsible for the flavor of umami, which … Continue reading

Histoire naturelle des champignons comestibles et vénéneux, Paris, Delagrave, 1883

Histoire naturelle des champignons

I recently came upon an extensive collection of historical drawings of fungi at the Biodiversity Library. Many of the illustrations come from 19th century French, British and American guidebooks. I got lost exploring them, and before I knew it, an hour had sneaked away. Among my favorites are various collections focused on lichen, those remarkable … Continue reading


How to and how not to take a spore print

A big brown husky mushroom was growing in my backyard, and my boyfriend Corey decided to take a spore print. A spore print is one of the most reliable ways to identity a mushroom. When mushrooms open their gills, they release millions upon billions of seed-like spores. The spores are so tiny that we cannot … Continue reading