Friday, April 11, 2008

Today's Adventure or the Hunt for Water Morels

I had the pleasure of hunting with Camoshroomer this morning. (Thanks again for the invite there Camo, I always enjoy hunting with you and swapping mushroom tales and knowledge.)
He hunts to the south of me and had been having pretty good finds the last few days, so I headed down to see what was poking up.

All of the recent rain had flooding on my mind. I had to cross a small spot where flood water was rushing across the road to get to where we were finally headed. It didn't take long before we found a few. He pointed out a little fellow he had left behind to show me. It was the first time I had seen a morel growing under a cedar tree, but there it was poking up through the cedar needles (or whatever you call those itchy things). We looked around for a few hours and I ended up with 15 which wasn't bad for early in the season. Also Camoshroomer had pulled out a good 50 or so the day before. I didn't ask him how many he found, but I think it was around ten. The last one we found he spotted growing just a short distance from the parking lot. It was a nice 3 incher and the biggest of the morning. Here is a nice cluster I found.

Camoshroomer spotted a patch of tiny ones just starting out but they were on the edge of a scour hole that was quickly filling with flood water. I took this picture...

And waited a minute or so and it was under water. I asked camoshroomer to check back on these guys and let me know how they do.

On my way home, I decided to hit one of my southern most spots. It didn't take me long before I started seeing one or two here and there.

They were far and few between and after walking for about two hours. I only had 13 in my bag. I had walked all of my spots from last year and even though there were only a few here and there, I was happy to see them as these spots had been under water for a good month last summer.

I resigned to the fact that it was still early and the major flushes hadn't happened yet and so I began the long walk back to the car. I was only about 5 mins from the car when to my surprise I spotted a perfect specimen sitting mere inches from the trail. I couldn't believe my eyes, I mean I had just walked right by this one. I took a photo or two and as I looked around I saw 4 more right there within 6 inches of the trail.

I decided to check a spot that I didn't check earlier because I been focused on hitting more productive spots further in. As I approached my spot, I noticed water slowly creeping toward it from a flooding creek. I quickly checked it out and saw no signs of morels. I now noticed that my way back to the car was blocked by about a six foot wide slowly moving stream of flood water creeping through the woods in an ever-expanding nature. It wasn't but a few inches deep so I picked a spot to wade across. Halfway across I stopped literally in mid-stream. There surrounded by water was a perfect 2 inch morel. I crossed the water and started seeing them everywhere. I picked about 20 that were sitting in 1-3 inches of water. I left many small ones here as well and I am not sure how long they will be underwater. Here are a few photos of some of the bigger ones growing in the water but near the edge.

And finally my finds for the day. The ones at the bottom are from this morning. I know what I'll be eating for breakfast tomorrow - a good mess of morels and eggs.

I have to head to St. Louis tomorrow for other affairs, but if anyone in Columbia is up for a hunt on Sunday, email me.

1 comment:

CamoShroomer said...

Update: The mushrooms are still under water. Found some others whee the water went down, most were great, only one was soggy.