Thursday, May 20, 2010

Here and gone

So,one of my favorite seasons has come and gone... unless it rains again before June.

The Morels were back and it has been a very enjoyable few weeks. It seems that I might have been a week or more late on my initial harvest I was told.

Last Wed. McKenzie and I collected over 70. Then on Sat. between me, my dad, McKenzie, uncle and cousins we collected close to 150. Then yesterday I had a half hour and found about 10 that were in good shape, but there were a lot of them dried up already.

McKenzie even started finding them on her own!! I wonder how many 3.5 year olds there are wandering the woods finding Morels on their own? I'm proud of her and she is my little out of doors buddy.

Anyway, a few things came to mind as I was walking the "river bottoms" this season that I will share (besides better pictures of the Morels for identification purposes).

1. The first is that beyond the general appreciation of the Morel, taking it step further in realizing that each one you have the honor to pick could be the last one. This year they weren't as plentiful as last year. I was anticipating another year like last so I left a bunch that most people would have picked, but I was only picking the freshest at that time.

2. When I go to harvest the mushroom, I cut it at about 1/4 to 1/2 way up the stem. I noticed that this is how much the deer leave when they eat them, so it is obviously the right thing to do.

3. I don't really understand the reproductive cycle of the mushroom, so I don't know when it is that they release their spores. I know that isn't very responsible, but as a result of that lack of knowledge I have decided that I will leave several standing when I find a group of them and anything that has any part of the mushroom that is too dried up or moldy will be left where it stands.

4. I like to use a knife to cut the mushroom off, but a scissor would work fine. This minimizes the risk of damage to the lower half and underground structure.

Anyway, I will post some pics soon!

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