Morels 2016

March 17

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First finds come on March 17, 2016. Teri found these landscape morels growing in the gravel along a paved road.

March 29

I put in several hours scouting a new area. I didn’t see much. Finally found a couple good looking yellow morels in the green grass of a  flood plain along a large creek. I was very pleased to also find a complete blacktail buck shed in a hidden alcove along the creek.

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A pair of striking yellow morels found in the green grass of a flood plain.

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A three point blacktail buck shed. Three points western count!

April 1

April Fools Day. I finally check the area I have been waiting for and I find the first of the desired yellows. The first spot I check is not producing yet, but the good old Oregon Ash tree hill is holding morels in the grass.

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The first one sighted. Nearly hidden in the green of the grass.

 

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There are plenty under the little Ash trees. The next find is a touching pair of morels.

A good April fool’s outing!

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A good outing on April 1. Between the little hill and the hollow under the big Oregon ash tree I find nearly 50 of the yellows.

April 8

Some of the early April morels cleaned, halved and prepped for consumption.

 

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Morels halved and fitted to the cast iron pan before stuffing with crab and cheese.

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Morels stuffed with crab and cheese. sautéed lightly then finished in the oven.

The latest finds of April 8th. A weeks worth of waiting and not much was growing. No rain and a couple of days of near 90°F temperature days and the conditions just are not there for a flush of the yellow morels. Already the wild asparagus is making an appearance. If we do not get some good soaking rain and a period of cool daytime temperatures I’d say it is just about over for the month of April this year.

 

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Conditions have not been optimal for a bountiful harvest. Asparagus is just starting to come on.

April 15

The weather has been the limiting factor for the valley floor morels. Three days of cooler temperatures and scattered rain gave hope for further discover. I was a little fretful that the rain was not enough. After all it is mid-April well past the early kick start period for the low elevation yellow.

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With apprehension I visit my first check location. Deep in the blackberry thorns and poison oak I find fresh yellow morels.

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My search continues. I don’t find a overall good flush of the yellow morels. I do find a tilting tree stump full of fresh oyster mushrooms.

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The oyster mushrooms are some of the best I have found. Excellent, quality specimens.

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I end the hunt with a good collection of mushrooms and a handful of fresh wild asparagus.

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Baked Steelhead Fillet with morel & oyster mushrooms.

April 24 First Findings of the High Cascade Mountain Morels

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Teri finds the first couple of mountain black morels. This is perhaps our earliest foray ever for the dark, elusive morels of the Cascades. We are rewarded as we find very fresh examples.

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The first two. Dark, wrinkled black morels can literally disappear against the backdrop of the soil. If you find one, look carefully for another hiding close nearby. You wouldn’t want to step on it inadvertently.

4/27  Last Along the River Foray

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I had to look for morels along the River again. In years past the end of April was always good. This year has been the exception. Except for the early flush, a sustained month long growth spurt was mysteriously missing. I can note that limited morels did appear in the usual places. The wild asparagus appeared about a they usually do. A wetter April would have made for more showing up.

5/4 Cascade Mountain Morels

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Just getting started! Fresh examples from the southern Cascades.