Friday, May 15, 2009

A Pictorial Mushroom Hunt

With the help of some downloaded software that I'm sure borders on being illegal since it retails for $50, I have been able to obtain some photographs that I took two weeks ago during one of my very brief forays into the woods to hunt for the illusive morel mushrooms. Seeing that the foray was entirely unplanned and all I had was a cellphone with me, I beg that you overlook the poor quality of the pictures and just look at them merely for their entertainment value.

When I first step into the woods looking for morel mushrooms, probably the most common things newbies with me ask is why I am looking up. Well mushrooms can and do grow anywhere it seems given the right environmental conditions but for heavy concentrations of them where you can fill a bag in minutes, you have to look for a mushroom machine, i.e. a recently dead elm tree where the bark in the uppermost reaches is just starting to loosen and fall off. This tree was a mushroom machine a few years ago but it is too far gone and I didn't a single edible fungi underneath it.

I crossed the natural bridge over a little ditch to the other side:

and not seeing any mushroom machines around, proceeded to look down to find this:
and this:
Obviously I wasn't the first person to look there and I suspected the culprits were my parents since they had been there a couple days prior. But during the season which lasts two to three weeks, morels can pop up over night and so I continued on. After a few minutes of poking along, there in the weeds I saw my first one. Can you spot it?

Once you see the first one, the others are easier to find. Soon I had a bag full of nice gray morels like the one below. I like the grays because they are more moist and flavorful. However the yellow morels are normally bigger as my brother can attest too because he only found two yellow ones and they equaled the volume of my bagful of gray morels.


Murf said...

That's funny that you mentioned the questionable quality of the photos. They are actually better than your normal ones. :-)

Ed Abbey said...

Murf - I was surprised at how well the look on my blog. But they don't blow up very well like the camera ones do... before I get ahold of them anyway.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Haven't been to hunting morel yet :(

Sage said...

Nice to see that your new photo has other uses.

PhilippinesPhil said...

These kinds of "nature posts" are my favorite. I maintain my postage stamp of a yard in as natural a state as I can, although I do keep the yard "cover" to a nice neat "height." (No yard nazis around here) I love looking for "new" plants and fungi that just seem to pop up from no where. The birds and the breeze do an amazing job of dropping spores and seeds onto the land here, even in the middle of this built up area. Hey, start using a real cam; I really enjoy the pics.

Ron said...

yeah, dude, those photos are great. Keep going, I might find a mushroom machine. :) (although I'm pretty darn sure I don't have a single Elm on the property...)


Beau said...

Glad you found so many- I'm not sure I found any grays this year- I'm curious to sample both if I can find some next year.