Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The First Morels of Spring



This is the time of year that drives us hunter/foragers insane waiting ever so patiently...nah, not patient at all! I have been the most impatient person I know waiting for these pesky little fungal finds. I have been out so many times I don't care to think about it; searching along rivers, under leaves, scouting cottonwood trees which are rather scarce in my neck of the WOODS. All this scouting to no avail. I've been to parks, driven around just looking for trees, been to some of last year's burn sites, been to recently logged areas, out in the rain, out in the sun (on the rare occasion we get to see it) and still nothing. I've poured over my notes and re-read posts off mushroom boards for timing of fruitings from last season and all to no avail.

Yesterday started out just the same way. I made my weekly trek to a spot I've been watching for weeks now and waiting. It is the scene from a burn from last summer. I had very high expectations that this would finally be the day, but alas, all I found was a few cup fungus which was not completely bad news. Cups are a precursor to what is to come which is morels, eventually. So, nothing there yet. Then off to another spot for a walk in the woods and all I found on this stop was some trillium, a wildflower that is also used as a timing device for morels. Still no morels. Then off I go with Maggie the Wonder Dog to yet another spot and again...nothing. Well, having gotten quite used to this lack of excitement, I decided to just head home. On the way back there was a spot where a fire had burned last summer that was about as steep as if you were to climb straight up a cliff. I managed to climb up a portion of bank that had a charcoal burned twig and got my balance and almost immediately found a morel right there!


I couldn't withhold the excitement and let out a joyous bellowing howl of approval. After that it was all about mountain climbing for morels. This is by far the steepest place I've ever seen morels grow and not a fun place to pick by any means, but at least I found some and could make a nice meal or two. I walked around the best I could without tumbling down the hill and came around the corner behind a big stump and WOW, you could have knocked me over with a feather. Take a look at this little surprise waiting for me. I couldn't believe my eyes.



The end of this week is supposed to get warm and sunny so things will only get better from here on out. So, get out there and scout your spots because morels are coming to a forest near you! Good luck...

3 comments:

LC said...

Well that second photo really tells the story, Mary. Score! Looks like you have a few burns to keep checking up on. There weren't that many up my way last year--burns, that is. But I should start poking around for some riparians soon, then maybe some naturals in the east slope foothills. Enjoy your morel dinner! Can't wait to find some myself...

ladyflyfsh said...

Lang, there really should be some up around you now. Check the Nisqually area.

drfugawe said...

Hey Mar!
Well, if nothing, you're persistent - and it pays off! Good job.

My local area is not renowned for morels, and I've not even looked much. But, I'll check with Carla in Coos Bay to see what's been coming in lately. If she says it's worth looking, I'll give it a shot.

Keep up the success.