Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finally a Half Free

I was only able to get out mushroom hunting yesterday. Things are starting to wind down here but there are still plenty to be had. Found 100 on Saturday in about 3 hours.

Here is a nice cluster I found near the base of an uprooted cottonwood.
No others were around, just this lucky patch of seven.

Another angle

Like I said, they are getting big. Another week and and this one will be as big as the bottle, I have found them that big before and the cold weather will keep them from rotting.

This one wasn't too fat, but it was tall. Cap was 4 inches and so was the stem. It had to grow a ways to poke through the thick leaves.

I was unable to go hunting today because of another hobby of mine, and had to assist in a wild cave tour at the local state park. As we pulled into the parking lot and headed for the cave, I must admit I was bit jealous when I saw a couple of people off in the distance combing the forest floor with sacks in hand. But I was content, I'm well over 1000 and have plenty dried and a good ten batches cleaned, floured, pre-sauted and frozen for good eating until next spring.

As we neared the end of our hike and headed down the steps leading down the steep, moss-draped banks into the mouth of the cavern, I paused to wait for the people in front of me to move on. I happened to look to my left and noticed there, growing on an 80 degree slope in the middle of ferns and moss, was a nice little half free. Having never seen one in the wild, I was delighted. It made me think of all the posts about people finding a heck of a lot more half frees than in a normal year. They surely are growing everywhere it seems, even at the mouth of a cave clinging to the walls. I didn't have my camera, so I'll have to go back out and see if I can find a few to photograph, but it really made my day to check that little bugger off my list.


Chase Davis said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog. I read all the posts from March and April of this year.

I have only found 7 morels and that was on Wed. the 23rd. I live near Seymour, Missouri. I found them under ash trees, all in the bottoms. There is a lot of rocky soil here and the place I used to find them has been logged and there are cows in the
field now. I have been looking under elms and haven't found any mushrooms under those. I found some ash trees that didn't have any mushrooms either.

ahistory said...

Ash is always a good tree to check. Others that seem to be hot this year are sycamores, cottonwoods, even cedars. It all depends on the habitat and weather conditions. I find it a fun challenge to figure out which trees are producing the mother lodes this year. Of course nothing beats a dead elm, but they are fewer and father between now that Dutch elm disease has thinned their ranks.