Friday of last week we stopped for a stroll in the woods to search for the elusive wild morel. The wild, yummy morel.
I have heard many theories about where morels grow best. They come up the spring after a fire, they come up around last year’s burn piles in the forest (where logging crews have burned brush), they come up around pine trees and they like the north slopes. Folks who pick them carefully guard their picking sites with secrecy (but I can tell you that we saw several other cars out in the woods where we were looking so no place is truly secret if a morel hunter is out in the woods).
We did gather about a half gallon of very fresh ‘shrooms, a sign that we were spot on for the timing of our hunt and maybe a week early.
While I walked around with my eyes on the ground, I decided to snap some other photos as well (of course).
A row of Calypso bulbosa (Fairy Slippers) in bloom.
The delicate anenome oregana (Blue Windflower) could be seen blooming throughout the woods.
There were still a few fresh trilliums in bloom.
An exploded puff ball mushroom (I love to stomp on these and watch the black cloud of spores explode into the air). (They are not edible!)
Last year’s maple leaf becomes a work of art.
Carpenter ants were on the move.
And there was this “whatzit?”
I’ve seen some bright orange fungi and jelly-like fungi, but nothing quite like this before.
So – you tell me. What is it?? And to keep this interesting, I’m going to offer a prize to whoever figures it out. I’ll send you a copy of The Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers (for whichever region you live in).