A truly monster morel
This season was largely a bust for me. The good news is that I’m feeling pretty good about next year. I have a few good habitats staked out for morel hunting in 2012.
I found enough morels to make a couple omelettes but too few for anything more extravagant. And I spent a lot of time looking in the wrong places.
I found some of the right places last night. I dumped some spent dirt from one of last year’s plant pots behind the woodpile, and spotted a nice cluster of expired yellows.
It was a nice evening, so I decided to have a tramp through a nearby wood. Upon leaving, I roamed around the area I normally walk right by as I enter the forest. Yup, you guessed it. Another nice morel patch, with some large, past-due specimens.
I went home empty handed, but full plans for next May.
The first morel I spotted, near an elm stump.
I took a walk through the wood behind my house tonight, and was thrilled to spot some morels. I left several, including the one pictured, in the woods to grow for another day or so. But I know where they are. I’ll be revisiting the area soon.
And I might sneak out to the woods after work tomorrow. Mostly, I’m just happy that I’ve not forgotten what these look like.
The morels I spotted tonight were on the periphery of the wood, near an elm stump on which some pheasant backs were growing.
Notes: Temperatures have been hovering in the low 50’s for the last several days, and we’ve had quite a bit of rain. These mushrooms were found on Wednesday, May 4. Monday and Tuesday were quite cool, following more moderate temperatures on the weekend. Today it hit 58 and the morels are just starting to appear.
Jack in the Pulpits are up, but small, and only about 8″ high. This picture was taken on May 1.
Trillium shoots have appeared as well, and are starting to leaf out.
Pheasant backs are everywhere, and I spotted budding fruits almost two weeks ago.
No mushrooms today, but my luck is still better than this deer's.
Last week I gained permission to hunt in a wood near my home, and today I went on a recon mission to scout my new mushrooming domain. And while I found numerous polyporus squamoses (also called pheasant back or dryad’s saddle) just starting to fruit, I saw nary a morel. I knew that it’s still a bit early, it’s not been quite warm enough.
Polyporus squamosus, just starting to fruit. Common names include Pheasant Back or Dryad's Saddle
That didn’t stop me from toting a couple bags with my in my pockets. You know. Just in case.
Despite being shutout today, I’m very excited about my new hunting grounds. The terrain is rolling, and a nice mix of deciduous and conifers, with lots of elm and ash, and lots of trees in various stages of life, death and decay.
A promising section of The Woods.
There are a few oaks, but because the forest I hunt in Wisconsin is primarily oak, I’m happy to have a different environment available to me.
I’m in a bit of a dither, I’ll admit. Temperatures are going to be spotty this week, between the mid- and high 50’s. Maybe by the latter part of the week, we’ll see the morels pop. Fingers crossed!