Finally found 3 fresh black morels on Friday. My early spots in the woods had not produced yet, but these were found along a gravel road. It was hard to get the temperature probe in the ground because of the gravel, but I recorded 60 degrees, Went back on Saturday and found 5 that seemed like they were Fridays also, because they had that slightly light and dry look of windblown morels. Today, Ellen and I took an Easter morning walk past the same road segment and found 11 more very fresh ones to make a total of 18 for the weekend.
An adjacent spot in the woods has not produced although the soil temperature was 58 on Saturday. Saturday night it got down to the mid-30″s and the soil temperature this morning was 52 in the exact same spot. I have been wondering how the periodic cold evenings we have had, coupled with warm days has affected the fruiting. One observation doesn’t prove anything, but we still haven’t has the 5 consecutive nights of 50 degree plus temperatures. Measuring daily in a number of known patches – both black and yellow, indicate a large (4-5 degree) diurnal fluctuation in soil temp.
What about leafing and moisture. Friday night we had 4 hours of steady rain. Poplars are leafing out in some areas, mostly the larger canopy individuals. I rely on Paw Paws around here. This is a picture of what they ;look like. The terminal buds are just opening and flower buds have formed. They need to be an inch long to indicate morels.
What’s the outlook?? The Asheville Mushroom Club is coming over for their annual morel foray. Our forecast is low’s around 60 for the next five days (great) with 60% chance of rain on three of those days (great). The weekend should be prime for morels, if we are at the correct latitude & elevation. So it looks like scouting is in order. Meanwhile, I’ll keep going back to our known patches, monitoring the vegetation and soil temperature
Happy Hunting !!