This past winter seemed a long time going. Colder than normal temperatures made everyone ready for spring. Finally April arrived and the turkeys were gobbling, fish were biting, and the morel mushrooms were up .For those that haven't had the pleasure of eating these wonderful delicacies, The species also called the Yellow Morel, Blonde Morel, Honeycomb Morel, And Sponge Mushroom is among the most sought after of all mushrooms. The related Black Morel are also considered choice edibles but they may cause gastrointestinal problems, especially if consumed with alcohol.
The Morels are about 5" tall ,I once picked an 11 inch one and I have heard and seen many similar.But they are mostly 5" tall ,occasionally larger or smaller ,cap elliptic, 3" long, yellow-brown, ridged and pitted and hollow, fused at its base to the whitish ,hollow stalk. It is considered choice in edibility but some individuals cannot tolerate it. False Morels ,some of which are dangerously toxic, have lobed ,brain-shaped chambered caps.
The morels inhabit old apple orchards ,and hardwood forests near dead elms. Some morels prefer the ground under conifers. I have found them both in the hardwoods and under evergreens. They are widely distributed throughout North America. If you have never tried them I advise you take along someone who has picked them before. I believe these are the safest mushroom to pick and enjoy because they are so easily identified. We often compare the taste to a good steak.
Hawk was here for the weekend and to finally get into the woods for the day was great. We donned our 18th Century garb and I got a chance to shoot that new Don Bruton gun of mine. It shoots as good as it looks.
All the spring flowers were starting to open also. The dogwood and redbud was bursting it's bloom . I noticed the color of the redbud bloom was very near the same as the dyed linsey woolsey shirt I was wearing . I had dyed it this winter in cochineal bugs. These red bugs can result in a dye from a light pink to a deep red depending on your mordant and the amount of bugs one is using. Maybe there is more than walnuts to make a "blend in the woods" dye ,but don't tell my trekking buddies you heard it here.
We enjoyed the wonderful spring day, and being with our good friend.Hope to see you all this year. Till then...........