The Last Morel(s) Standing pt.2

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by Brady Raymond

photos by Paul Hill.  View all of Paul’s burn photos at Seattle Roamer and don’t forget to check out his other mushroom photo albums.

Morel Fever

An uneasy feeling sets in walking around a landscape like this, the stark desolation envelops you, cutting through to the bone.  It is a reminder of the inevitable, the reality of our own mortality.  After walking around a few minutes you find your first mushroom, not a morel but a mushroom none the less.  As you are examining it your hunting buddy shouts “I found one!” you toss your find aside and start to make your way in their direction.  They shout again “Got two, three, they’re everywhere!”  You tell yourself to slow down, you look up, take a deep breath and look back down.  “They’re everywhere!” you shout.  For the next couple of hours you fill your basket as giddy laughs echo through the forest.  This is burn morel hunting, you’ve heard the stories and now you’re doing it.

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Not a post card perfect setting, but there are treasures contained within this stark landscape just waiting to be found.

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The Last Morel(s) Standing pt.1

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Somewhere in the woods
The last morel stands proudly
Its function achieved

 

by Brady Raymond

Has the last morel of the 2016 season in Washington been picked?  Maybe, but whenever that mushroom is or was plucked from the ground there will be somewhere in the woods “the last morel standing” unfound by man.  It would be interesting to know who does pick that last found morel, or at least the  last edible one.  I would imagine that some old mealy dried out morels could be stumbled upon in the weeks to come though.  I picture these fading fungi being found on the sun baked ground in one of the burns, a shell of its former glory.

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Mushroom of the Month – Morchella sp. (Morels)

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Morcella tomentosa

by Danny Miller

This month’s Mushroom of the Month is one that is probably already on everybody’s mind… the Morel!

Mushroom hunting comes in two seasons here in the Pacific Northwest, spring and fall. Most of our mushrooms prefer the fall, it is the bigger of the two seasons, but spring is the time to hunt for many people’s favourite mushroom, the morel!

Morels are great to hunt for, because they are pretty easy to learn to identify, unlike the hundreds of common gilled mushrooms that all seem to look alike. Make sure you learn the colour and shape of the true morel, though, as some people confuse them with the deadly poisonous Gyromitra esculenta and G. infula, which usually look more like a brain or a saddle on a stick, respectively. Even closer looking is Verpa bohemica. A Verpa, however, does not have the bottom of its cap attached to the stem, but a true morel does. A Verpa also has a stuffed stem, but a morel stem is hollow.

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