Saturday, April 18, 2015

Devil's Urns

Friend and I spent Friday searching for morels full-time. We discovered:

1) if Spring Beauty wildflowers are still blooming in the area, the soil is too cold to produce morels.

2) that poisonous red-headed false morels are the first morels to appear; the black ones are next, then the black ones with long stems and short caps; then the gold ones.
At most, the cup is an inch in diameter.

3) my morel photographs record that morels are more likely to be found in the second half of April than in the first half.

4) if turtles are active in a likely area, morels are likely.

5) that other people are better morel hunters than we are. We found none, but met another morel hunter who had found three and showed us, and my friend was insanely jealous. However, this successful hunter had

6) instead of properly cutting them from the earth with a scissors or a knife, had torn them from the earth, "roots" and all, and because of that I could tell she had not been trained in morel conservation. If there are fewer morels every year, it's because more and more people who find them are heedlessly ripping them up by the roots. Please tell everyone you know to cut the stems at ground level.

7) Devil's Urns, Urnula craterium (pictured), are delightful because they indicate conditions nearby are right for morels, but search as we might we did not find any, yet it was a perfect spring day anyhow.

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