More Morels

Morel 2 5-13-17

by Brady Raymond

  • 5-13-17
  • 50 degrees, partial sun to drizzle-light rain
  • 1800-3100ft.

I have a problem, I’m addicted to Morels.  Erin and I have put some serious miles down the last two weekends, driving up and down mountain passes and zig zagging our way through forest service roads.  The urge is unbearable, one that is only quelled slightly by the meager yields we have so far harvested.  Twenty-one Morels this weekend, that brings our total for the season of twenty-eight.

“Brady” I said to myself “it’s not a competition, relax, enjoy the hunt.”  But, it is a competition and I’m at twenty-eight.  Lots of people have found more than me, and they laugh at my season total.  These folks have accumulated more weight in spores than I have in the spore bearer.  There is a good chance though that the average person among me has found none and I relish in this fact.

Mushroom hunting isn’t really a competition but anyone who’s done it knows how guarded and secretive you get when questioned about the subject.  I imagine that this traces back to ancient times, to protect what is yours and when you poses so few things it would seem this behavior may be stronger especially when regarding something so tantamount to survival as a food source.

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The Real Deal

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Just fry them up already!

by Brady Raymond

  • 5-7-17
  • 55 degrees
  • 1800-4000ft.

They’re here, they’re here!  I have officially found my first Morel of the season, seven to be more precise and they were as delicious as I had remembered.  I can still taste their delectable flavor and can rest easy in knowing that the essence of the Morel now resides in my body, helping to build the future me.  We have bonded, man and fungus.  Wait, I’m not sure if that sounds right but it is essentially true, this is a fungal infection I hope sticks around for a while.

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Remember Me?

Ghost Morel

Ghost Morels

Remember me?  I just wanted to let you know, I’ll be back before you know it.

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Insert angelic choir swell, maybe something in Major 8 Major

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It’s all mine.

I thought, to get folks into the spirit of the hunt that I’d link up a few articles about Morels from last spring.

‘Tis The Season

4000ft. Morels

The Last Morel(s) Standing pt.1

The Last Morel(s) Standing pt.2

Verpa

Fooled ya!  Don’t fall for the Verpa trap, unless of course that’s your thing.

 

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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Eat Morels, Some Ideas

by Erin & Brady Raymond

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Erin’s quick recipe,

Scrambled Eggs, Morels and Toast

Homemade whole wheat bread, toasted. Topped with scrambled eggs and fried morels.
Morel batter – egg, flour, a bit of garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Brady says,

Mmm, and this is breakfast.  What a way to start the day.”  

 

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Erin’s quick recipe,

Morel Crostini

Homemade whole wheat bread, with olive oil toasted at 425.
For the morel cream topping:
Melt a fair amount of butter in a sauce pan. Add chopped garlic and shallot. Cook for a few minutes. Add chopped morels and sauté slowly for about 10 minutes. Add cream and continue to cook until the cream has thickened. Let cool for a few minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with chive flowers, if you have them.

Brady says,

 “You’ve got to be kidding me, morels for breakfast and now appetizer!  Mmm mmm mmm!”  

4000ft. Morels

 

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New PSMS members Mike and Alyssa’s first morel find.

by Brady Raymond

PSMS held it’s second field trip of the year on 5-7-16 in the greater Cle Elum area.  It was a well attended affair and there were no complaints in the weather department.  We looked around a few miles out from the meet up place and although conditions seemed perfect we found no morels and not much else of the fungal persuasion.  Erin and I were out this way a couple weeks earlier and things were for the most part the same, conditions were good but little to no mushrooms.  This all took place in the elevation range of  2200-2700ft.

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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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‘Tis The Season

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Erin’s first morel of the year.

by Brady Raymond

They’re Here! I’m happy to report, as some of you probably already know the 2016 Morel season is on. The wife and I headed out April 17th on Highway 2 with the hopes of finding morels. We knew we were taking a chance, heading over Stevens Pass and hanging around 2100ft. in elevation. The temperature seemed right, and we had loads of snow this winter, which means moisture levels had to be at least better than last year, our moral for morels was indeed high. Continue reading