The 2020 Virtual Fall Mushroom Show

By Paul Hill

We are doing the annual show! This year it is virtual. Register at the PSMS website.

I thought it would be fun to explain what it takes to put on a show and for all those members who have helped over the years, we all can relive the experience. For all those members who haven’t volunteered to help helping at the fall show is a great opportunity to get involved and meet lots of mushroom people. This is how it all happens.

In the weeks before a show, speakers are lined up, and vendors are coordinated, supplies for the show are ordered, and volunteers are lined up for everything from ticket taking, to doing demonstrations, to providing snacks for the 100+ volunteers working at the show. The challenges with any venue are that speakers need a good convenient, but separate space to give presentations.

There has to be space for vendors without sticking them down a hall where people won’t see them.

Of course the central part of the show are the many tables of mushroom displays built from mushrooms brought in by members who pick them as close to the show date as possible.

The first show way back in 1964 was in the Pacific Science Center at the Seattle Center campus just two years after the Seattle World Fair. In fact member #1 was the first director of PacSci, Dixie Lee Ray. As the years went by the show has been in a surprising number of locations. It eventually settled into where we have our monthly meetings at the Center for Urban Horticulture on the University of Washington Campus . By the early 2000’s we were out growing that.
PSMS 2013 Fall Show at the Mountaineers building . Time for a bigger venue!
Recent venues have included The Mountaineers building out on Sand Point Way; Bellevue College, our first show outside of the City of Seattle; and for 2018 and 2019 the show was at North Seattle College.

Who knew that we’d go virtual in 2020!

So much goes on behind the scenes to put on a show!

We haul tables, lamps, displays, mushroom kit supplies, books to sell, cooking demonstration supplies, and lots of other stuff from our storage.

A large amount of what we bring are the tables and mushroom trays. Some of the trays are more than 50 years old! Every now and then we have to replace a few.

The night and morning before the show opens, members bring in fresh mushrooms gathered from near and far. Some years members have to go farther than other years, but we always have something to show. As we occasionally get asked; no we do not grow the mushrooms ourselves. Most don’t take to domestication, so we have to search them out in the forest and lawns.

Friday and into Saturday, the mushrooms are sorted by genus.

Meanwhile, many trays are filed with sand ready for creating trays.

The morning before the show opens, volunteers arrange trays by genus or a few related genera.

While trays are being built all the tables and displays are assembled.

To the tables are added decorations, lights, signage, sound systems, projections, posters etc. waiting for vendors to set up, demonstration to be added, and then cooks, crafts demonstrators, helpful floor walkers, and expert identifiers to main their stations.

Coordination is essential between the head tray producer and the head tray wrangler. It is not known until late in the game how many trays of what kinds will end up getting built, because every year is different. The two of them keep an eye on how things are developing while everyone scurries around to get the trays built and onto the floor.

The experts find and label each species on each tray once it is arranged.

Tray building continues through the morning. Now, you know why we don’t open until somewhere near mid-day.

Multiple groups of volunteers help build trays while others are sorting the continuously arriving mushroom.

Once trays are built, the identifiers correct and add any last minute changes. While others haul trays into position.

Eventually, rows of trays on tables come together and signs are arranged, but often this requires moving trays between rows of tables to get the final organization.

By opening, all the mushrooms are arranged, and ready for 1000-2000 visitors to visit the show each day.

Also ready to go are setups like this mushroom-dyed yarn display and demonstration.

Here is a little know step. Once everyone goes home on Saturday, the mushroom trays are misted and covered. All those warm bodies crowded in the main room during the day heats things up and dries out the displays.

The next morning some of the trays need some refreshing. Hopefully, some members have spied a few inky caps somewhere in town to replace the deliquescing Coprinus, Coprinopsis, and Coprinellus species which have turned black or just wilted over the last twenty four hours. Other species which need replacement include large boletes which often come to the show already buggy.

On Sunday it all begins again. We open the doors for another 1000 or more visitors.

There are more cooking demonstrations.

Another day of identifying by the experts of mushrooms brought in by show attendees. The identifiers are rarely stumped.

More teams of friendly volunteers staff the show on Sunday.

Luckily Puget Sound Mycological Society is full of friendly and knowledgeable volunteers, ready to put on a show and share their knowledge and love of all things mushroom.

At the end of the second day, all the mushrooms are removed from the trays. This is trickier than you might think, because there are nails holding up the base of many mushrooms just like in flower arrangements.

All the mushrooms, all the sand, and all the forest, field, and lawn decorations are sent off to be composted.

After packing all of our equipment into a truck, all the volunteers who are still around head out for an after party for pizza and beer, but the tasks are not done.

The next day all the tables, boxes, displays, and equipment are hauled back to storage to await another PSMS Wild Mushroom Show.

The 2020 show may be in cyberspace, but expect Puget Sound Mycological Society to be back again live for another Fall Wild Mushroom Show. I don’t expect the club to miss a show no matter the obstacles in its way. After all, we’ve been doing this over and over since 1964. See you next year!

May you fill your basket with mushrooms and your soul with adventures.
-Paul Hill

The Long Wait

by Paul Hill

Maybe you were thinking that the title refers to the waiting mostly at home as we try to contribute to not spreading the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic and waiting for the rate of new COVID-19 cases to go down. As I write this the number of deaths from the virus is continuing its slow rise beyond 100,000 deaths in the United State. Imagine the deaths that would have occurred, if we had not tried so hard to prevent the spread!

Maybe you were thinking the title is the centuries long wait for racial justice in this country which has lead to so many recent Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police protests occuring around our cities, states, country and the world. Certainly, many of us have been waiting, both hoping, and working for more progress.

For all I know you’ve been waiting to go mushroom hunting, because you were participating in marches, protests, or other aspects of the struggle that have intensified since the death of George Floyd. I certainly, support your efforts and anyone’s efforts. Black lives haven’t mattered enough or as much as others in this country for too long.

Maybe you are just waiting to travel again and search for mushrooms after a winter without mushroom hunting. I actually couldn’t wait. I looked for mushrooms in a parks open for walking, in the forest on lunch time excursions, and even on a roadtrip to the eastside of the Cascades. As usual, I always kept on eye out for mushrooms whenever I was out, even in the urban areas.

Certainly one of my thoughts was that those of us who write this blog have been waiting too long to make another entry, so on to mushrooms. No more waiting, at least for blog posts.

A Lunchtime Find

I work split shifts and I get a nearly 5 hour lunch break. That’s a perfect time to take drive to look for mushrooms, but only if I’m back in time for work. During COVID-19 I make sure I’m not risking any rough roads, have all my supplies with me, and not taking long hikes to reduce any risk of getting lost or injured.

On one interesting lunchtime drive, I explored a great dirt road that took me to snow in May and in June. An interesting find were some huge Golden Jelly Cones. Around here we call such yellow cones Guepiniopsis alpina, but apparently there are about seven other Guepiniopsis sp. including a few on decaying, bark-free conifer wood, and a few, hard to find, species on dead branches of deciduous wood. Mine were all on dead Hemlock branches. The Wikipedia article for Guepiniopsis alpina lists the size as up to 1.5 cm in diameter. Ha! Mine are so much bigger. Mushroom Demystified says up to 2.5 cm broad which is certainly a better match to mine.

Gigantic and some more typically sized Golden Jelly Cones Guepiniopsis alpina found in the Cascade Range in the US2 corridor at ~1000m ( ~3400 ft).

I don’t know about you, but I would think something shaped like this would be related to most other cup fungus, so would be an Ascomycota, a mushroom which shoots its spores out of tubes on the upper or at least outward facing side surface. I even went so far as to post a photo of my huge Guepiniopsis in a Ascomycota group on social media. Opps, that was my mistake. The Guepiniopsis are Basidiomycota where the spores are energetically flicked off special basidia cells which stick up above the surface of the mushroom. The basidia are typically found on the gills, in the tubes of polypores and boletes, or on the teeth — somewhere underneath –but not usually on the upper-surface of a cup. Nature isn’t one to strictly adhere to rules. In the Guepiniopsis species, the spores are on the top of the cap!

Maybe the ones I found are just champion specimens of our typical spring Golden Jelly Drops at the limit of known size. Some further investigation seems warranted.

Closer to Home

While scurrying out of town into the mountains for a few hours is one way to hunt for mushrooms, another way is it keep your eye peeled while walking around town.

While forests walks can result in many finds, sometimes just a line of trees in an otherwise grassy park can produce an abundance of mushrooms.

A case in point are the Agaricus I keep seeing in Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South in southeast Seattle. If you live in Seattle and visit SW Seattle, you may have driven right by this park, but weren’t really compelled to stop. It doesn’t get much traffic except for a few dog walkers, folks exercising on the hill and staircase, the occasional rally, or as destination to start or end a political march.

A poetry reading with good social distancing, as part of Black Lives Matter activities in Martin Luther King Jr Park, SE Seattle, June 11, 2020

I don’t know how many Agaricus species come up in that park, but there are various fruitings thru the year.

Possible Agaricus buckmacadooi in Martin Luther King Park, Seattle, WA; May 19th 2020

Keep your eye peeled and you might find mushrooms where you least expect them.

More Agaricus some showing yellowing in the MLK Jr. Park June 11, 2020
Some of the many 100s of Agaricus of a yellow-staining Agaricus sp. Yellow-stainers are usually assumed to be part of the “lose-your-lunch bunch” meaning the are not edible.

There are always mushrooms to find, you just need to know where to look, so keep looking for mushrooms even when you are asked to stay mostly at home.

May you fill your basket with mushrooms and your soul with adventures.
-Paul Hill

Out And About

 

Leccinum?

Leccinum insigne.

 

by Brady Raymond

Right in front of me, shrouded in green embrace was the fungus.  The cap was large, maybe 7 inches across and orange.  It was awash in the dappled summer sunlight, warm and content but in poor health, riddled with bug holes.  It was clear as I knelt down what I was dealing with, Leccinum.  The scab-like netting along the stipe instantly reminded me of Leccinum scabrum a Bolete of sorts and a mushroom that I have seen many times in Seattle, around some Birch trees in backyards and other green areas while out and about.

It was the only mushroom of the day, that we saw anyway and I’m calling is Leccinum insigne.  And it wasn’t until we were packing up to head back to the truck that I had noticed it, just off the bank of the rocky creek we were hiking along.  We were in desert country, hot and dry even crisp but things were a bit cooler down in the shallow canyon that the creek ran through.  As far as I could tell this mushroom was alone, in the arid landscape.  A landscape not overly suitable for the robust fruiting bodies of mushrooms, except close to the lifeblood of the bush, water.

What the desert lacks in large fruiting fungi it makes up for in bugs.  There was a breathtaking bounty of beautiful butterflies along the creek on this hike.  Many of the delicate creatures landing together in large groups on the muddy ground that made up the saturated banks of the creek.  From what I have read, it is thought that butterflies, particularly males, seek out the salts and possibly other minerals which may aid in reproduction.  Whatever their reasoning, it was an opportunity for me to snap a few photos.

UF Butterfly 1

Limenitis lorquini

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One More Attempt

 

Mushroom table

Mushroom table.

 

by Brady Raymond

The weather has been cool the last week and subsequently, my mind still thinks about mushrooms.  Around the house, I’ve noticed a couple things fruiting, some Coprinellus in the garden woodchips and some Agaricus in the duff off the side of the road.  These are farmland mushrooms though, domesticated in a sense, I wanted things more wild, mycorrhizal and Ascomycete in nature.  I still want Morels.

Once again, the family and I set out to try our luck on another weekend mushrooming romp.  What would we find and would we even find anything?  We figured we’d snag a couple Morels, enough to hopefully make it worth firing up the dehydrator and adding a little more to our reserves.

Clustered Morels

I kept wondering if each Morel was my last for the season.

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June Jaunt

Back Yard Mountains 3

Photo was taken just over 4000ft.  Central Washington, a rugged, unforgiving landscape.

 

by Brady Raymond

It may not be summer by the calendar’s account yet but it looks to be turning that page here on the ground.  As the temperature rises things are starting to dry out over on the east side, add time and a little wind to the equation and Morel season quickly turns to wildfire season.  Please, if you are out camping in the coming weeks, pay attention to the fire warnings and any burn bans that may be in effect for your next trip.

Summer may mean fire season but it doesn’t quite spell the end for Morels.  I was lucky enough to make a few quick jaunts up some east side slopes this past weekend, each trip had the potential for more  Morels than were found but on the first trip, I was hindered by motorcycle gear and on the second, children.  Lucky for me I enjoy the company of both my motorcycle and my kids, so the small quantity of Morels is made up for by the smiles on everybody’s faces.

DR650 Mroad

Best scouting tool, dual sport motorcycle.  Atlases, GPS and google Earth come in handy too.

As much as moto-gear and kids can slow you down while looking for mushrooms, both are an investment in the long run.  The motorcycle is an amazing scouting tool, keeping tabs on all the roads we frequent and checking out new ones before we try traversing them in a larger vehicle with the family.  There is nothing worse than backing up on a mountain road looking for a place to turn around because of a washout or downed tree.

Kids, on the other hand, they are just more sets of eyes and closer to the ground too.  But, as much as I want my kids to enjoy mushroom hunting, I’m less enthusiastic about either of them getting the taste for Morels.  I already have to share them with my wife.  I imagine in a few years that our spring haul will be much more substantial once the little ones put on a few inches and hone their mushroom vision into a fine laser-like focus.

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Do You Morel?

2019 MDay Morel Morel in hand

Most of the Morels I was finding were fresh and of good size.  This one being on the larger end.

by Brady Raymond

We started high, around 4000ft. and that is where we stumbled across the first few Morels of the day, just off the trail among the grass and leaves.  They were still young and fresh.  I wondered if maybe this was the last hoorah and worried that it might just be the tail end of the season, I prayed to the Mushroom Gods, that they lead me to nature’s bounty and deliver me from my fungal hunger, a hunger that has been gnawing deep inside after the long winter, with no dried reserves of the fungus left.

Do you Morel?  I Moreled my butt off Saturday, well as much as I could with two young children and a geriatric dog.  The rain seemed to scare off a lot of folks over the holiday weekend but many, including myself, were gallivanting around eastern Cascade forests in search of one of the most delectable treasures nature has to offer, the Morel.  It is also in my opinion, the best mushroom, and one worth bragging about, even if just a little bit.

Now there are some who would argue my assessment of this, finding Porcini to be the best of the west, the springtime variant of the Cep being superior to what the fall has to offer.  Yet, others will proclaim Matsutake or Lobsters to be their mushroom of choice. But I will always adore the spongy fungi known as the Morel.

Pits, pores, veins or gills, whatever your fancy, you have to make the most of it when the getting is good.  Right now is the time for Morels here in Central Washington, so get out there, they won’t last long.

2019 Mday Morel

First Morel of the day.

As the weather warmed this spring and the snow melted things seemed right on track, then it got hot and the landscape dried out.  Not the best recipe for a banner Morel year.  My season seemed like it was going to stall with an all-time low of only two Morels.  But then it happened, the weather cooled and the rains rolled in, soaking the mountains over the last week.

There was ample moisture but I was worried the temperatures were just too low, I still had hope though.  The Morels took to this second spring and erupted from the soil and a couple pounds of which I was lucky enough to find.  I cradled in my hands the first Morel of the day and rejoiced in its splendor.  This is Morel hunting in Washington, and I’m living right now.  Are You?

Usually when we’re hunting in the spring things are dry, at least on the surface, they are downright soggy this year.  It is certainly annoying to be wet, although the Morels really seemed to pop in the moisture-laden landscape.  My eyes scanned the ground and with little strain and I spotted one after another and yet another.

2019 Mday stream

My first truly wet Morel hunt in Washington.  It seemed more like fall than spring weather wise.

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Snakes!

 

Crotalus viridis 2

Crotalus viridis oreganus, the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

by Brady Raymond

Rattlesnake 

Yes, snakes.  “isn’t this a mushroom blog?” Yeah, it’s a mushroom blog but Deviating From The Norm can be a good thing once and awhile especially when you find yourself in drier regions with few mushrooms around.  Snakes have certainly been on my mind lately and I hope they will be on your mind too this spring.  I grew up in Michigan, (southern lower peninsula) and every summer I would catch snakes, almost exclusively Garter Snakes, but I did see a few Water Snakes, Racers, and Hog-Nosed Snakes.  Once I even found a small Milk Snake.  I was young but I remember being extremely excited, they are such beautiful snake and rare in at least my experience.  My dream snake, however, was always Rattlesnakes.  I had dreams of the South, more specifically the Southwest.  The desert seemed so exotic compared to my Midwestern home and that is where as a youngster, I imagined all the Rattlers were.

Ironically, there are Rattlesnakes in Michigan.  My Grandfather and other old-timers I knew would talk of the little buggers being under piles of hay around the farm and near to swamps, which is what Michigan mostly was a century ago.  The Rattlers found in Michigan are the Massasauga Rattlesnakes and I have only seen the shed skin of one brought to school by a classmate.  I imagine they were mostly wiped out by the farmers as more land was converted to agriculture and then to housing.  If there are any in Michigan now, they are most likely confined to the thickets, marshes and swamps where folks rarely venture.

I’ve spent some time down in the Southeast and Southwest too, yet I have never stumbled across a Rattlesnake, and trust me when I say I was looking for them.  I’ve turned over plenty of rocks and logs in my day (always turn them back the way you found them) but I was never lucky enough to spot one of these beauties, until now.

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Morel Count, I’m at two

Salixland Morel 2

My second Morel of the year.  At this rate I expect to find five or six total this season.

By Brady Raymond

Things were looking good at the end of winter, sufficient snowpack, and some late winter rain but then a dry spell.  Over here, east of the Cascades the last couple of weeks have been warm and dry.  Dry enough ironically to put a damper on my mushrooming mood. Today, however, the rains did come and it looks like they will extend into next week. I got myself a bit of a good omen and stumbled across another Morel only a few feet away from where I had found my first Morel of the year.  I snapped off a few shots then decided to snoop around a bit and see if I could spot a few more.

As I circled around some brush I saw a yellow laser streak in front of me across the damp ground. My mushrooming focus now tuned into snake vision, I reassessed my naturing priorities and the hunt for the serpent was on.  The snake, small, only a youngster really, caught cover under the corner of a large concrete chunk.  I thought I had lost it but with a little gentle prodding and the snake emerged from its shelter.  I captured it and after a few seconds of squirming and discharging a foul-smelling musk, it decided I wasn’t a threat and calmed down.  I was deep in shade and as if on cue, a gust of wind blew on the canopy of Willow above, allowing the evening rays of the Sun to penetrate down to the snake in my hand.  Lighting went from bad to good in an instant, I took advantage of the situation and snapped the photo below.  Look for an article about my adventures snaking to follow this story soon.

Garter Snake 5

Newborn Valley Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi.  Garter Snakes give “birth” to live young.

My second Morel of the year and an encounter with the beautiful Valley Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi left me giddy and with a touch of the fuzzies.  Then I remembered spotting some mushrooms the day before, just up the trail on the exposed roots of a wind-toppled Willow tree. I had to bushwhack my way through standing dead to reach the specimens, which from across the creek looked to be Coprinellus micaceus, and upon closer inspection that is the name I gave them.

It was kind of a difficult shot, which had me lying prone on a mat of sticks and twigs and below that was a black soupy muck.  If I applied too much pressure to a knee or elbow seepage of this muck into my clothing was inevitable.  The image isn’t a wall hanger but it is good enough as evidence that this species occurs both on my property and on Willow.  I haven’t identified anything down to species but so far I’ve spotted Agaricus, Pholiota, Psathyrella, Galerina, Xylaria, Morchella, and fairy rings in my lawn, evidence left presumably by Marasmius.

Coprinellus micaceus SL

Coprinellus micaceus, or at least that’s what I’m calling it.  DNA studies suggest however-blah, blah, blah.

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Sometimes the Mushrooms Come to You

As late winter warms into spring certain changes come to Seattle.  The trees begin to bud, the grass starts to grow faster, cherry blossoms bring an explosion of beauty to the city.  If you are like me, you are checking with friends and monitoring social media to find out if anything has been sighted yet.

Maybe you see or hear about some Oysters mushrooms (species in the Pleurotus genus) growing in lower elevations.  They can be found on dead deciduous trees.  Around here that usually means alder trees – dead alders.  In Washington we have nearly exclusively Red Alder (Alnus rubra) while down in Oregon they have several other species of alder.  Look for the Pleurotus species on standing snags or downed logs in late winter and into spring and beyond in parks, particularly along waterways where many alders grow.

Yellowish tan fan-shaped mushrooms growing from a log

A  group of Oyster (Pleurotus) mushrooms growing on a log on trailside in a park in Seattle.

But the mushroom of spring is the Morel.  While those with a comprehensive historic, linguistic, and taxonomic understanding might think of anything in the Morchellaceae taxonomic family and even a few beyond as some type of morel, many people immediately think of those tasty brown roundish sponge-like mushrooms in the Morchella genus when you say morel.

Before the Morchella appear there is another closely related mushroom in the Morchellaceae family that comes up first; these are the Verpa species.  The Verpas are called “Early Morels”, because they come before the other morels (the Morchella).

We have a couple of verpa species around Seattle include Verpa conica, a small mostly smooth capped Verpa found in moist areas.  It only grows to a few inches tall. Some common names for it include the Thimble Morel or the Thimble Cap.

Verpas like all members of the Morchellaceae family are edible, but only after cooking well.

Verpa conica - Thimble Cap

A cross section of a Verpa conica – a Thimble Morel or Thimble Cap.

The other Verpa you can find in Washington is much taller than Thimble Morel and even taller than any Morchella we get in the Pacific Northwest.  This larger Verpa species is the Verpa bohemica.  Its excessively wrinkled cap can be deceiving, because without close examination it can look very similar to a Morel (Morchella), but the wrinkles are not the sponge-like of pits of a Morchella.

tall creamy white stipe (stem) with a small wrinkled dark conical hat on top.

Verpa bohemica – Wrinkled Thimble Cap or Wrinkled Thimble Morel.

The Verpa bohemica gets it name from Bohemia, a western region in the Czech Republic where the mushroom was first described.  The stipe (stem) of the V. bohemica can be very tall as to compared to the cap which sits on the end of the stipe.

There are a couple of others thing to note about all the Verpas.  The can have hollow stipes, because the pithy material inside of the tube of the stipe tends to disappear in age.  Whether hollow or not, one thing to notice is that stipe goes all the way to the top of the inside of the cap before it is attached to the cap. In contrast, Morchella species have stipes which are typically hollow.  Due to varied growing conditions some species are prone to have many layers in the base making the very bottom of the stipe nearly solid, but not filled with a cottony pith.

morels in a sissel basket

Morchella sp. with one with a layer filled base.

More importantly, unlike the various Verpa species, the Morchella species stipe joins smoothly into the stipe, most often blending into the cap at the cap base.  In a couple of species the stipe joins to the cap somewhere up into the stipe, these are called Half-free Morels (Morchella punctipes in western North America and Morchella semilibera in eastern North America).  Some specimens can be tricky, because the join from the cap to the stipe is way up in the cap, but it is not straight into the top of the cap.  In all morels there should be some widening as the cap flares and joins the cap even the “half free” morels.

A morel cut from top to bottom. One half showing the outside the other the inside.

Cut-away Morchella showing stipe connecting directly to stipe.

about a dozen young burn morels on burned ground with pine needles.

Young Burn Morels (Morchella exuberans?) showing nice round “ant tracks” at the base of the cap.

In the picture of the cut-away Morel (Morchella tomentosa), you can see the stipe smoothly blending with the body of the cap.  In some species there is more of channel (when looking from the outside), a nice round gutter running around the bottom of the cap.  Some refer to the nice rounded gutter as the ant track.

May you fill your basket with mushrooms and your soul with adventures.

-Paul Hill
Seattle WA

It’s Morel Season

1st Salixland Morel 2019

First Morel of the year, in my own backyard!

by Brady Raymond

I had already been out on one walk for the day, doing a little birding, trying to figure out a few plants and thinking about all the work that needs to get done on the trails for summer.  I came inside to get some water and like always my Jack Russell was there to greet me, wagging his nub of a tail in a playful puppy kind of way despite his twelve years of age.  I could tell he needed a walk so I decided to head out again.  Just a quick spin around the compound.  Unbeknownst to me that my first Morel of the year was only a few short minutes away from being found.

As I crossed the creek into “Salixland” my senses focused in on the surroundings.  Truth be told, I was thinking more about seeing some Warblers, maybe even a few new ones to add to my home bird list.  We’ve had Yellow-Rumped Warblers all over the place lately and I think there have been a few other species of birds among them but I never seem to have my binoculars on me when I really need them.  As my brain processed these thoughts I passed through the first stand of Willow trees and headed out through the Reed Canary Grass to a second stand of Willows a little further down the trail.

As I entered the woods my eyes adjusted to the lower light, I throttled down my pace a bit to optimal birding speed and continued on.  I glanced downward to watch my step and what would you know, right in front of me just ten feet away stood my first Morel of the 2019 season and my first Morel at our new home.  Surprised, I said aloud “There’s a Morel” then a giddy grin stretched across my face and a fuzzy feeling engulfed the whole of my body.

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