Friday, May 29, 2015

Better Later Than Never

Morels can be hard to spot at times
 I actually found these a little over a month ago but just now getting ready to blog about it. I have hunted morel mushrooms every year since I was old enough to walk in the woods. I have never missed a year and have never come up empty in my search for morels. This year however, I thought would be my first year for striking out. We had some nice warm weather a few weeks before but it was pretty dry and morels need moisture to pop out especially at the beginning of morel season (about two weeks a year on average).The week leading up to morel season we got some moisture but it was also very cold and cloudy and morels need the warmth of the sun. Compound the poor growing conditions with a trip to Boston during the prime time for hunting morels, I had almost given up hope.

But morel madness is very hard to ignore and so on Sunday afternoon, literally less than 12 hours before we had to get up for the long drive to the airport, we made one last attempt to find some mushrooms and struck gold. Well perhaps struck tin because we found enough for one large mess for the three of us to eat for supper that night and that was it. It was probably the fewest morels I have found except for a time or two I can remember with early spring droughts but it wasn't zero. While we were gone in Boston, my parents and brother would find some more for another couple messes, one of which they graciously saved for me to consume upon our return, but overall, it was just a marginal year for them up here. I can't stress this enough though, when you have morel madness as I do, even a marginal year is better than no morels at all.

Rotted hollow in a tree trunk which would have made a dandy emergency crapper.


sage said...

The times I've eaten morels, I loved them, and had found a few, but never caught the fever like you. And down here, well, they'll remain a good memory (like walleye). Your Captcha had me to pick all "food" but beer didn't seem to qualify.

Anonymous said...

What temperature have you there. If I knew that I'd be able to keep an eye open for them when I walk the hound in the woods.

kymber said...

i am just glad that you didn't put up a pic of any of the morel meals - thanks for that! i love morels but just can't seem to find any here. there are rumours of chanterelles but we haven't found any of those either. i am glad you at least got a couple of meals out of them.

your friend,

Ed said...

Sage - Perhaps ones appetite for morels adapts to the amount available like a fish's size adapts to the size of its environment.

Vince - Prime morel season here is generally the last week of April with some being found a bit earlier and some a bit later. Generally the night time temperatures are still fairly cool getting down in the 40's F and the daytime temps can be in the late 60's to low 70's F. They need warm sunshine and plenty of moisture which we generally have in the spring time. I usually find them in wooded draws or near small intermittent streams or drainages. For me, the biggest visual cue is what the understory of a wooded area where you might find them looks like. The understory weeds will be growing but won't be very high or thick yet. It is one of those things that is hard to explain what good morel hunting ground looks like but once you've learned, you know.

Kymber - I did post a pic on facebook but didn't post one on here this year. I'm not sure why I didn't include it in this post but lets just say I did it just for you!

Leigh said...

I've never found nor eaten this much sought after delicacy. Sorry it wasn't a better year!

Ed said...

Leigh - Hopefully someday you will be able to eat some and find out what you are missing.