Hunting Morels With a Friend.

This is my second year hunting morels, if you want to read about my 1st experience, check it out here.

We moved across town last fall, so it is a longer walk to get to the woods where I like foraging. I can’t just walk across the back yard to get there, so I don’t get to check my spots as often as I would like. That being said, I have been making sure to check my morel spots from last year every couple of days. I figured with such an early spring, that they would appear several weeks earlier than last year. That did not turn out to be the case.

Today, after finishing up designing the cover for my friend Dave’s 1st solo album (I’ll plug it in a couple weeks), I asked if he would drop me off at the woods on his way home, and that if he wanted to, he could come along to check one of my morel spots.

We walked down the main path, ducked under a tangle of thorns and branches, and headed down to a little flat area, next to the creek, behind a small colony of ostrich ferns.

After looking my spot over pretty well I said “I don’t think we are going to find any today”.

Dave said “Why don’t we keep looking”

I said “I know this spot pretty well, and I don’t think there is anything here”.

I headed a little way down, picked some honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis), and showed him some identifying characteristics.

He was in a time crunch, so we started to head out. We walked around on the gravel by the creek. As we walked past my spot, a beam of sunshine shone down through a dead branch laying some leaves, sand, and gravel right on the bank of the creek and reflected off of a beautiful little morel.

Photo of morel growing in sand and gravel next to a creek.
A morel (Morchella spp.) growing in sand and gravel next to a creek.

We looked around, found another one right next to it, and realized that I had actually knocked a tiny one over while leaving the honewort patch.

I picked one, cut it open to verify its identity, and let Dave take it home with him while I stayed to look for more. I only found one more that wasn’t in real good shape, so I picked one of the nice one’s for myself, and headed to the other morel spot nearby.

I found a decent amount at the next spot, but most of them didn’t look as nice as the ones last year. They were smaller, and even ones that were a little past their prime, were still halfway under the leaf litter. I wonder if the dryer weather this year could be responsible for that. Anyway, I picked a small handful and started to head out.

A handful of morels in the kitchen.
A handful of morels in the kitchen.

As I ducked to get back to the path, I caught my forehead on a low hanging branch. It wasn’t a bad cut, but did bleed pretty well.

After leaving the woods, I walked down a road that I figured my wife (Becca) and son would be driving home on after work. When they stopped to pick me up I said “Well, I’m bleeding from the head, but I found what I was looking for”. Becca said “Morels?”.

There was great excitement when I said yes, but a little less fanfare when I managed to burn them as I prepared diner.

I would love to hear anyone else’s morel hunting exploits,

Nate

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