Thursday, May 19, 2022

Morels are beginning to Pop in the forests of SW Idaho!


Wendy was excited about our mushroom haul ... 
Hi all,

For me, it's always exciting to go hunting for morel mushrooms in the forest. 

When you see the trilliums beginning to bloom, you know morels are beginning to pop! 

Then, it's a matter of finding them amidst all of the downed trees, brush, moss, wildflowers, and rotting logs. You really have to focus your eyes on the forest floor at a very small scale! It takes a lot of staring at nothing, patience and persistence!  

Weekend weather is going to feature high temps in the 60s in Boise, and cool in the mountains, with highs in the low 50s. But the sun has been shining enough lately to allow things to grow on the forest floor. 

When it warms up more next week, the mushroom crop might be better than it is now, but there's only one way to find out, right? 

Maybe you have your favorite morel-hunting spot. If not, go morel hunting in forested areas that have burned in recent times. The disturbance of fire tends to lead to the growth of fungi and mycelia. You can look up burns from previous years on this site

No permit is needed to hunt morels. You can explore in the Boise or Payette National Forest, state parks or on Idaho Department of Lands property open to recreation. 

What's so special about morels? If you like to eat mushrooms, morels are a delicacy. They are positively delicious, especially sauteed in butter and garlic, and mixed with eggs or served with steak, mixed into soups -- there's just all kinds of applications.

Morels are fun to pick because they're very distinctive ... they have a conical shape, kind of like a Christmas tree, but with honeycombs inside. My suggestion is to walk very slow through the woods, and stare at the ground, looking for morels. Once you see some, you'll find more. 

I seem to find morels more under fir trees than pine trees on open ground. If there's a lot of bear grass growing on the slope, it's not a good site for morels. Sometimes you'll find groups of morels popping up underneath alder brush. Once you find a fertile area for morels, you'll keep coming back to those spots for more.

If you stay in the Boise Valley this weekend, it should be great conditions for hiking and biking outings. I'd also recommend:
Have fun!

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