Yes, I believe the mushroom Gods have been in conspiracy with Mother Nature. The first of March we had a week of night temps in the 50’s and then two weeks of night temps in the 30’s, including two freezes a week ago. It has rained when cold and dry when warm. The seven day forecast is no rain and 70+ degree days. The woods are drying out quickly. Wow!
It’s not surprising that even though some people somewhere have found enough morels to suit them, none of my friends have. Personally, I have found one tiny black morel that was dried and bug eaten. My total is that and an additional 12 yellows. I’ll be foraging, with Rich, one more day – Tuesday – in the mountains, and then it’s surgery on the left eye.
Even with the scarcity, we found three “stuffer” yellows yesterday, Saturday, at the same location we, along with Steve Peek, found four big stuffers last year. The picture above is Rich with his two jewels. Holding them out front makes them larger optically. That’s an old fisherman’s trick. The same technique works with “dry land fish”.
We maximized our meager Friday find with fresh ramps, fresh asparagus from Rich’s garden and some farm eggs from a friend, and we made a big omelet.
All was not lost. We foraged some ramps for Rich to take back to our buddy Steve in Asheville. We weren’t able to get him out for a wheelchair foray, but we tell each other “Steve stories” as we forage.