*Insert Fun-Guy Joke Here*

A collection of Mushrooms We found on our hike.
Bruce Newhouse holds up a Boletus species for the group.

On November 13th, the Eugene office of Oregon Wild hosted our annual mushroom hike, with our special guest leader Bruce Newhouse. Bruce leads our Mushroom Hike every year, and our hikers adore him, he has an impressive way of answering the incredible amount of questions that come up when you take 15 people out looking for mushrooms. This year, we wanted to share some stories with you about how the mushroom hike went, so we asked a couple of our hikers to share their thoughts. I hope you enjoy reading them below! 

Ella joins Oregon Wild on hikes frequently, for the mushroom hike she brought along her mom Shawn!

 Ella Hardy-Spittle:

Oregon Wild makes hiking accessible to everyone and educates hikers in the process (whether it be about current timber sales they are working to halt, geographic history, or in this case mushroom ecology). I had no idea that such a vast plethora of mushrooms existed so close to home; the ability to identify them and discuss each mushroom's unique properties with a specialist (Bruce) was truly a treat. Some of my favorite finds were cat's tongue (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum), an odd coral, black trumpet/black chanterelle (Craterellus cornucopioides), and lots of tiny mushrooms that I couldn't even get identifications for. Along with education about individual mushrooms,  Bruce also taught us about mycorrhizal relationships (the interactions between fungus and plant roots). I wish I had brought paper and a pencil to take notes! I am definitely looking forward to next year's mushroom hike. 

These hard to find Black Chanterelles were one of the most exciting finds of the day, and one of Ella's favorites! 
Sara & Markus, long time Oregon Wild supporters, have been on many Oregon Wild adventures! 

Sara & Markus Walker:
For me, the best thing on the hike was seeing how excited Markus was to be there, learning on a Sunday, how many questions he had, how excited he was to explore the forest with Bruce.

We have enjoyed all of the Oregon Wild adventures we have been on over the last 5+ years.  Mushroom hikes in particular are fun because there is a lot to see and learn, and the hikes are shorter and better suited to a young hiker with a shorter attention span.

It's difficult to put into words how much Oregon Wild, and specifically Wendell's hikes,  have meant to us personally.

When I read the news  of Wendell Wood passing, I literally sat down in the corner of an empty house where I was working and sobbed at the loss of such a great man.  He was the leader of so many of our best days.  He knew I usually could not come on a hike without Markus, he always welcomed him. He was endlessly kind and patient answering our questions about flowers or mushrooms over and over and over again. 

Wendell Wood spent 30 years helping Oregon Wild inspire people like Sara & Markus to keep Oregon Wild! 

 

The kindness and friendship and leadership from Wendell and all of the other leaders and members of Oregon Wild has been such an incredible blessing in our lives. I don't remember exactly how I found Oregon Wild, an event calendar posted somewhere must have caught my eye. When I started going on hikes, I was completely broke. I probably paid nothing or maybe only 5$ per trip for the entire first year or two. Everyone at Oregon Wild was so compassionate, so friendly, and so encouraging. I started to feel at home and at peace for the first time in as long as I could remember and I know Markus felt the same.

Thank you for everything!

 

 

This Birds Nest Fungus with "Eggs" in it, was one of their favorite finds of the day! 

Interested in joining Oregon Wild on future hikes? Make sure you are signed up for our email alerts, and keep an eye out for our messages! Oregon Wild leads hikes year round, in different conditions and environments around Oregon, whatever your interests or skill level, we’d love to have you join us in appreciating the places that Keep Oregon Wild!