Old What’s Her Face* and I slept in this morning. We decided to check our favorite morel spot and see if any were out. There wasn’t any reason to get up early, since they don’t run away at sunrise.
Morels are one of the finest mushrooms in the world, and they grow wild here in Idaho. We usually find them in June and July, but the weather this year has been strange. Mostly, we just wanted to get out.
I remember crawling under the burned out root ball of a ponderosa pine about five years ago. I plucked out a grocery bag full of morels as big as my fist. You can find quite a few, when you find them at all.
We went to a little place called Warm Lake. Traffic was pretty heavy for the holiday weekend, but as we found increasingly smaller roads it thinned out. It was sunny and warm, and generally beautiful outside.
The ground was surprisingly dry. This time of year it’s usually pretty damp, foggy, and even muddy. All of the LBMs (little brown mushrooms) I found were wrinkled and dry. Note: only eat a mushroom you can positively identify. LBMs have been the cause of many hospital visits.
I found one really pretty false morel. It isn’t hard to tell the difference, but these are for looking only.
I’ve had my best luck where the ground has been disturbed around ponderosa pines. There was a huge forest fire near Warm Lake a few years ago, and it disturbed the ground. Experts say to look where and when the trilliums bloom. I found trillium in abundance.
Sadly, this pitiful specimen was the only morel either of us found. It looks like one of the small grey fire morels. It was about the size of my little finger tip. I decided to photograph it, and leave it to encourage its friends.
Not even enough to make scrambled eggs with tomorrow. Maybe next trip. We decided it’s date night tonight. I have to get this posted and get cleaned up.
* Not my wife’s actual name.