Morel Season Nearing End
May 11, 2023
“How many mushrooms have you found, Rich?” a friend recently asked.
“The usual – nearly none.”
I went on to tell him I don’t have enough time to hunt mushrooms – correctly named morels – during the spring. Between fly-fishing for trout and trying to squeeze in some spring gobbler hunting, I just don’t have enough energy to look for morels. By the end of the first week of gobbler season, I’m exhausted from trying to burn the candle at both ends; and when the big evening fly hatches begin, I have to make a choice between turkey hunting and fly-fishing for trout during the hatches. The fly-fishing wins out.
Truth be told, I can’t find morels anyway. I gave it a go for a couple of springs more than 10 years ago but was consistently unsuccessful. I thought I had it figured out one morning when I found four-dozen morels. However, when I looked there in subsequent springs, I did not find another mushroom. I discovered that this was a popular place for seeking the spongy fungi and that real mushroom hunters kept the morels pretty well cleaned up.
I was not good at spotting them anyhow. During one of my attempts one cool spring evening, I ran into another mushroom hunter who had a full bag. I told her how badly I was doing. She pointed to the ground and said, “There are a half-dozen.”
“Right in front of you, 10 feet away.”
I couldn’t see them, so she led me forward where I finally saw them.
Most of my adventures went that way. The most I have ever found since that year were the 15 or so I found one day that were growing around one tree. I wasn’t even hunting them. Somehow I just noticed them when I was moving from one fishing spot to another.
Unfortunately for me, Donna enjoys eating a plateful or two of morels each spring. (To me they have no taste: I can taste only the breading she smears on them.) However, one of my friends (who will remain anonymous, since I don’t want others to follow him – mushroom hunters are more secretive than turkey hunters or trout fishermen about their spots), takes pity on me and brings Donna a couple messes of mushrooms most springs. Recently, another morel seeker brought her some. Donna smiles, remarking that her husband ought to give up some fishing time to look for them.
Mushroom time is ending. Thank goodness: I won’t be further embarrassed by my ineptitude till next spring.