By the way, If you live in Michigan, and hunt morels, I feel it would be a good idea for you to invest an estimated 50 cents in a little pamphlet called, "May is Morel Month in Michigan" This little 22 page gem is written by Ingrid Bartelli, and has a lot of good advice for beginners, and even for self-proclaimed 'experts' on morels. It is Extension Bulletin E-614, and can be obtained at your County Extension Service office. You may also be able to obtain it through Cooperative Extension Service, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824. They may also charge you postage and handling, but the investment is worth it.
Along similar lines, you may also be interested in others of her bulletins:
19 May 96 Different area, soon to be developed: New roads cut in and some fresh cellar holes, and half-constructed homes. In the few remaining clearings with last year's bracken and raspberry canes, we came up with a dozen or so little ones. The developer has lowered the water table. This is (tragically) our last year for still another site. We also saw trout lily, hepatica, yellow violets, and nearly ready-to-bloom mayapples.
22 May 96 Returned to both sites. Nothing but a g'zillion mosquitos. Ground cover taking off. Oaks are already in catkins. Too many warm moist nights since last Sunday. We spotted a small cluster of what looked like collybia dryophila , but since we were allegedly hunting morels and there were only a few, we left them. We did get good looks at a raccoon, a muskrat, and a water snake. Pussy toes and Canadian Mayflower are just about ready to bloom, blueberries already are, and the milkweed are finally up. Maybe we'll see some monarchs this year.
marasmius oreades8 Jun 96 The Marasmius are finally up! After a week of warm dry weather, we finally got some rain. Picked a peanut-butter bucket full of caps in half an hour. Dozens more dark green pre-fairy rings promise more if we can stay hot and steamy for another couple of days. Growing in and amongst the marasmius I also found a number of what I've tentatively keyed as bovista plumbea. Since I'm not generally a puffball fan (never learned to appreciate that vaguely iodoform-like bouquet while cooking), I'm not certain with my ID, and these have at best a mediocre rating, they can just sit there and rot.
History How did we get started doing all this? The Spring of 1969 was very wet where we lived in Massachusetts at the time. Our lawn sprouted all kinds of interesting things. We knew that other people harvested wild mushrooms, and we knew wild flowers and other wild foods, so Donna got a book out of the library. Then we went out into the woods, and picked as many different species as we could. We brought them home, numbered them from 1 to 15, and using the book, we each identified them independently, using the keys. Then we had 15 arguments. So we got some more books, and practiced more until we agreed over 90% of the time. Then we finally got up the courage to try one. (suillus granulatus). Gradually, we spiralled outward, ever cautious. We still don't challenge the limits.
I also had a co-worker who hunted Steinpilz (boletus edulis) during lunch breaks, though the variant growing near the lab was very bland. He took me along sometimes but always with the warning, "Sind die Blaetter weiss, nicht beiss'!" (If the gills are white, don't bite!). He didn't use books, but relied on what his father had taught him back in Germany. Too bad, he missed a lot of good things growing right outside our office windows.
Well, we got hooked, and we still go out whenever something worth harvesting should be out there and our busy schedule permits.
|photos and artwork
© Ralph Czerepinski
Saturday, 08-Jun-96 21:10:25 EDT