Monday, March 24, 2008

Morel Mania Picking Up

The reports are coming in faster now. Morels are popping in the Peach State. Tennessee and Arkansas are starting to flush, and the mania is marching up the East Coast to both Carolinas and even Virginia. Positive reports are coming out of Missouri, and morels are messing with Texas. Meanwhile, the West Coast is gaining steam. The first morel sighting of the year came from San Diego on February 24, and Oregon had morels by early March, though not in significant numbers. The first sighting near FOTL's stomping ground hit the wire on March 17, from Bainbridge Island, WA. These were "beauty bark" or landscape morels, early fruiters that stow away in commercial mulches and wood-chips. You can often find these morels in cities and towns, but make sure the mulch hasn't been sprayed with any nasty chemicals before eating them.

A good place to get an overview of what's happening nationwide is the Morel Mushroom Hunting Club's report page.

And you can score at home by following this progress map.

If you've found morels, leave a comment for FOTL.


t-mos said...

Uhmm, I found a "morel", sort of. Actually they were verpas. But exciting nonetheless.

Good blog. Do you mind if I put a link to it from mine?

Langdon Cook said...

t-mos, welcome. String Leach is officially on the blogroll. Thanks for the bump.

Do you eat the verpas? The rocket fuel thing kinda makes me lose my appetite. Hey, but at least they're a sign of better things to come.

t-mos said...

thanks and your welcome.

i didn't eat the verpas. i think only the gyromitra genus has the rocket fuel, or that is what i took from kuo's book. i think the verpas are "safer", but still highly questionable. i am a total newb to the shroom foraging though, started with morels last spring so this is all hear(or read)-say. good luck with this years crop!

Langdon Cook said...

My bad. You're right, it's the false morel (Gyromitra sp.) that has an agent, gyromitrin, that metabolizes as the same chemical found in rocket fuel. The verpas supposedly make some people ill, and apparently they can build up in yr system and cause liver/kidney problems. But then, there are plenty of of folks who eat 'em all the time. With bad livers.

Chickenofthewoods, if you're out there, feel free to chime in on the verpa question.