Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Morel Hunting is Like Voting - Do it Early and Often
Although my day was full with work and making my way to the polls for local elections, I managed to sneak out about an hour early and hit a spot I checked on Saturday. I didn't see anything in the spots I had checked over the weekend, so I walked back to an area I hadn't checked in over two years. Boy am I glad I did. There were tiny morels in several spots. Most were singles, but there were a few twins starting to make their appearances, like this nice pair of small yellows. All in all, it was a great day to be in the woods. Things are setting up nicely and with more rain and cooler temps on the way, I would say we are off to a fine start.
As I was taking this photo, I nudged a few leaves with my sleeve and to my surprise there was another set of twins hiding beneath. Just to give you an idea of how well hidden and out of sight these fellas can be this early in the season. Here is the before and after shot.
It was nice to find these tiny little grays still leaning over taking a nap. It also supports the fact that grays and yellows are the same species. They just change color based on stage of development and/or environmental conditions. These two pairs were not but 10 inches from each other, yet one was clearly yellow and the other clearly gray. The only difference was one pair was exposed, one was not. I left the gray ones behind, well covered, of course. I'll go back and check and see what color they are on my next visit.
You may notice that the pair of grays are leaning over. In fact, many of the ones I found today were still bent over and waking up. I suggest walking very lightly in your proven spots or you may be stepping on your chances for a good future harvest
Only 6 of the 25 or so that I uncovered were bigger than this little fellow, so that is all I took home. To be honest, I normally wouldn't have picked the others since they were only about 1 1/2 inches, but I just had to get a small taste. Mainly to satisfy my hunger for fresh ones, but also because I am a firm believer that having morels coursing through your system is a sure-fire way to locate more.
So, if you are in the woods keep a close eye out because most are just starting to peek through the leaves. They are a little easier to spot. Some are a little rusty in color from the cold night temps, the warm dry winds, or possibly a combination of the two. Not sure how they get that color, I just know that on this one, the "rust" was only on the exposed surfaces. Lots of those teeny tiny squirming varmints in these fresh ones, but a little extra protein never hurt anyone.