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Oysters are Fruiting!

 All the rain has propelled the oyster mushrooms to begin fruiting in great numbers. Check your favorite aspen grove and look for them on down dead logs and standing dead snags. They're pretty wet right now, so you may want to roll them in old clean towling or in paper towels to reduce the moisture. Happy hunting!

Wei-Shin's picture

Morel Picking for Lazy People - Site Revealed!

It's getting hard to walk, much less bend over when you're almost 8 months pregnant. But I managed to find a great morel source! Musser Farm Market sells a half pound of morels at $7. Compare that to Wegmans $50 a pound.

Dave R.'s picture

Morel Coloration

The photo below illustrates the variation of some recent morel finds, all from the same area.  The oddball in the lower center is, I believe, Morchella semilibera, the Half-Free Morel.  This is the only specimen of this species I have found to date this year.  As you can see, it is mostly stem with only a small cap that is free of the stem at the bottom.  The cap largely resembles a Black Morel, Morchella elata, but the attachment of the cap clearly indicates it is the Half-Free.  The Half-Free Morel is edible.  I believe another common name for this morel

Dave R.'s picture

Mountaintop Morels

While out hunting the other day, I ran into a very experienced morel-only mushroom hunter.  He told me he owned a property where morels grow and had already collected his annual supply.  He then told me of a remote area of Huntingdon County where he had previously found morels.  He said he no longer hunted the area because it had "gotten too steep for him."  I'm still learning the ways of the elusive morel and have to admit to not yet being above "relying on the generosity of strangers" to quote the old movie phrase.  So I went and checked it out

There's morels and also Gyromitra brunnea

 Christine's eagle eye spotted this lovely specimin from the SUV as we drove along Scotia Road this afternoon. Although we found tasty morels yesterday (in other places), this was the sole find today. It is described as a "false morel," but we cannot fathom how anyone could confuse this unsavory critter with a real, edible morel!

 

Banner year!

 And I haven't even been out of my yard! My Mom found 9 black morels today while gathering up yard and tree debris from the storms we've been having. Bo went out and checked under the apple trees and found 3 yellows. This is the time to collect them before the insects get in them.

Dave R.'s picture

Morel Cultivation?

My reading and experience tell me that growing morels at home isn't easy.  The last I checked, only one group in the world had figured out how to reliably grow morels indoors.  They filed for a patent on the process, but I'm not sure anyone has been able to replicate their results following the documented procedure.  And growing morels in prepared beds outdoors seems to be rather hit or miss.  As is the case in the wild, morels seem to grow rather unpredictably wherever the whim strikes them.  I once tried growing them from spawn in a simulated post forest fire

Why does morel season have to be during college finals and grading

 

 

A friend, that wishes his name not be included, found these garbage bags of morels between State College and Bellefonte along roads and streams.  He collected them sometime between April 27th and May 1st--he would not give dates or exact locations.

He did say dandelions were out in abundance and starting to go to seed.

 

Barrie

Dave R.'s picture

Mystery Mushroom #8

As noted, now that the weather has warmed a bit I've been finding a few mushroom species.  Here is one I came across over in Perry County that is new to me.  I found these fuzzy, gilled, litttle fellows growing on a dead, fallen limb that appears to be oak.  As you can see from the photo, they were rather vase shaped with an inrolled margin.  I suspect the latter characteristic may be due to the young age of the mushrooms.  The caps were a little over an inch across.  The gills were cream colored but I was not able to get a spore print.

Dave R.'s picture

Another Morel Tip

Last time I described how difficult morels can be to spot.  The black morels seem to melt into the shadows and blend into a surprising variety of backgrounds.  The yellow morels more closely match the color of fallen leaves and the pitted, mesh texture of both make them blend into the background, rather than stand out.  So here's another genuine geek tip to help beginning morel hunters spot this elusive fungus. 

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