Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Can I use maps to predict where Morels will grow? Part 1

Morel season 2013 has begun in the Northern Rockies!

We found our first handful this weekend in a glade of aspen amidst an open talus field with an Eastern aspect.  It was not exactly where I would have predicted their growth at this time of year.

I am somewhat a neophyte when it comes to mushroom hunting.  Ryan and I have searched for and found a few of the easier to recognize species the past few years.  Most of our spots were a happy result of looking for boulders to climb at the right place at the right time.

Boulders and mushrooms often like same habitat: open forest with decently drained soil.

The huge boulder a few yards away from the morel patch

For me, a large part of the fun of mushroom hunting is having a reason to leave the trail and wander through beautiful terrain taking the time to closely observe my surroundings.  As a new resident of the Northern Rockies, I plan to take the opportunity this season to get to know this place while searching for morels.

Can I make morel discovery a little more systematic than a happy accident?

Morel Facts

I plan to use what I know about the delectable camouflage artists to help me learn how to use maps and data to determine likely spots for morels.

  • Morels appear in the Spring, not too long after snow melt
  • They need water and the right soil temperature to grow (about 53 degrees)
  • Morels tend to grow symbiotically with some species of trees: cottonwood, pine, fruit trees
  • They like disturbed soil: along trails & roads, after floods, after fires, etc. but can also be found in less disturbed areas
Hillmap features data analysis tools that help asses weather, snowpack and snow line, precipitation, slope and aspect.  I will experiment with these tools, and other useful data sources as I find them, and report back on my process and success or lack of it.

A Warning

Morels are very distinctive mushrooms, however, there is a species of false morel that grows during the same season that has a chemical similar to jet fuel.  Don't eat it.  Some say that you can eat the false morel if you prepare it very carefully in just the right way, but I've always decided to err on the side of caution and stick to the real morels.

Make sure you identify the correct mushrooms before eating.  It is always best to have an expert identify mushrooms for you before eating them...nature produces an infinite number of shapes, colors and mutations that can make it difficult to identify a mushroom correctly from a picture in a guide book.


  • All That The Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms by David Aurora (awesome guide book, easy to carry with me in the field and includes lots of color photographs, tips on how to cook different mushrooms, as well as look alike mushrooms)
  • Mushrooms Demystified by David Aurora (the exhaustive tome for identifying mushrooms, also includes funny stories of mushroom gathering...I can spend lots of time with this book)
  • If you live in Seattle, the Puget Sound Mycological Society is an incredible resource and also offers free mushroom ID clinics on Monday evenings in the Spring and Fall - show up with your specimen to be identified by an expert!  There are many wonderful local mycological societies all over the world.

Ryan with Golden Morel a few years ago.


Unknown said...

I am somewhat a neophyte when it comes to mushroom hunting. Ryan and I have searched for and found a few of the easier to recognize species the past few years. Most of our spots were a happy result of looking for boulders to climb at the right place at the right time, Happy Glass is a casual physics-based puzzle game with hundreds of levels to unlock and solve.

Richard Majece said...

Do you want to know how to get a PhD? Here you can find more information about it

Riley said...

The morel develops bounteously in the two and once in a while three years promptly following a woods fire, Hr Assignment Help however where fire concealment is rehearsed, may develop normally however in limited quantity in a similar spot quite a long time after year. Business pickers and purchasers in North America will follow woods flames to accumulate morels.

Roman Davis said...

I am reading this post because I want to increase my general knowledge. I hope it will be useful for my writing work which I am serving the students with the help of dissertation writing services

liaflowers said...

Ernest Hemingway is an American writer who is considered to be a living legend in American literature and whose works are filled with themes such as loneliness, sex, love, initiation, loss and one of main themes that characterize Hemingway’s writing style more fully is war

LasseNielsen said...

I want to recommend the custom essay writing service for completing the paper ahead of time and for doing such a great job in the content. I would need few weeks for that revision but this service finish my order on the 3 days overall, I am satisfied.

AMiller said...

For me, a big part of the fun of mushroom hunting is getting away from the bustling city and enjoying the beauty of the forest. It is one of advantages of living in california there are many beautiful forests here

srislaw said...

Thanks for sharing beautiful content. I got information from your blog. keep sharing
bankcruptcy lawyer near me
pay traffic ticket va
How to Remove Reckless Driving from Record in Virginia

Mahil mithu said...

I read your blog, and it was really good your declaration way is too good. Thanks for your great content.
how much does an uncontested divorce cost in virginia
how much is an uncontested divorce in virginia
online solicitation of a minor
Abogado De Divorcio En Virginia
Abogado De Trafico En Virginia

joovani said...

Hello, thank you for sharing your article with us, and I truly value your information, which I really appreciate, and I would visit your website for bankruptcies

Cara said...

"Can I use maps to predict where Morels will grow? Part 1" offers an intriguing dive into the world of mushroom hunting and the potential of mapping techniques. The article's informative approach and insights provide readers with valuable knowledge about the factors influencing Morel mushroom growth and distribution. Whether you're a seasoned forager or a curious enthusiast, this piece sets the stage for an exciting exploration of nature's mysteries.
Estate Litigation Lawyer

clara dorothy said...

Domestic Violence Lawyer New Jersey
The article explores the use of maps to predict Morel growth, offering a unique perspective on leveraging geographic data for practical purposes. It explores the intersection of technology and nature, providing valuable insights for enthusiasts. The innovative approach discussed in the article opens up new possibilities for foragers, and the content is well-presented. The article provides a fresh perspective on Morel hunting by incorporating map-based predictions, adding a layer of strategy to the foraging experience. It is a thought-provoking piece on the potential correlation between maps and Morel growth patterns, offering a great starting point for optimizing foraging efforts.