Field trips and forays are lead by more experienced members to various locations in the Bay Area and around Northern California, and offer opportunities to learn more about mushrooms, to safely collect and eat mushrooms, and to enjoy good company. Forays are attended by many types of people with the connecting element being an interest and curiosity about our fungal friends. The events are open to members and non members at no charge. See the the event calendar for forthcoming forays and the collecting equipment list for suggested items to bring on forays.
We host several foray types:
Local forays are often to a county or regional park, within a short drive of San Francisco, start about 9:00 am with a walk with the leader, who will help with mushroom identification and interpretation, and answer questions. Collection may or may not be allowed at these locations.
Day trips are to locations that allow collecting, start a 9:00 am and often are a mix of more experienced forayers and newbies. They have a more loose structure, with the more experienced individuals wondering more widely. Beginners can walk with the leader or with one of the more experienced forayers. Interpretation includes insights by the leader as well as experienced participants.
We walk, break for lunch break in the field, then collect until 2:00 or 3:00. The group returns to the starting point, and review the collections.
Quick start forays are new, it is announced on the MSSF Mailing List and MSSF online calendar only a few days before the event. Location and time are up to the event initiator. These allow us to react to changing conditions or reports of good fruiting.
Car Camping forays involve the leader selecting an overnight camping location, a campground or primitive camp spot. We meet Saturday morning at 9:00 am and then drive or walk to the foray location. The foray is an all day event, with lunch in the field and returning for dinner. The participants create a pot luck meal, hopefully with mushroom finds from day, or personally crafted dishes. Usually a fire and an exchange of elaborate tails of glory—mushrooms found that day or in the past—ensues.
Sunday there may be a pot luck breakfast and forayers are free to explore nearby terrain to put to use the knowledge gained over the course of the foray.
Fungus Fair collecting forays are on the day before the fair. The various leaders meet small groups of volunteers at locations were collecting is permitted. Mushrooms are collected to represent the local mycota that are in condition to display at the fair. Collections are returned to the fair site at or before 5:00pm for identification and placement on the display tables.