Month: May 2013

Morels are in the Ochocos!

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Piggy funhog loves full baskets!

We camped this Memorial Day weekend without our usual group of friends, but found about 10 lbs. of morels over the three days. We did best about 5400 ft. elevation, near Walton lake. The most amazing part is that they were so young and fresh, yet good size. Keeping the food dryer going strong and my close friends with smiles on their faces.

Shades of colors range from white, gray, tan, green pinkish, brown and black. Amazing

Clair’s spring king buttons

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This photo looks just like last year’s stash from Clair. If I hadn’t found one nice bolete button myself, I would think it was the same photo he used last year, but no, the boletes are barely showing as shrumps in the lower elevations, so keep your eyes peeled and look under the mounded duff. We haven’t had much luck on morel front lately. If you have, please comment to encourage those of us who are tired of looking for far too long for 6 or 7 morels.

Ky’s Great Advice

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In 30 years of harvesting the forests of Oregon I have never seen so much Bear sign as this spring. From Klamath Falls to Camp Sherman there seems to be an abundance of Bear scat everywhere. While in K Falls area my aussie shepherd was on alert most of the time for three days last week, with bear scat everywhere, and a black bear sighting one evening.

Yesterday while harvesting SW of Bend, walking old skid roads through a dense timber stand I rounded a corner to find a very large pile of very large Bear dung, still wet… meaning he deposited that pile within moments of my discovery, which means he was present where I was picking the past half hour. Not a welcome realization, being a couple of hundred yards from the sidearm in my truck… I calmly started calling for the Bear in a loud voice, and talking to my dog about the Bear while with the same pace I’d been traveling prior to, made my way back to the truck……..!

Bears are curious creatures, once while harvesting a burn in Idaho I was followed for two days up the same canyon by a bear that stayed in a thick growth of aspen while observing me. A local logger I talked to one evening told me it was likely wondering what the heck I was and what I was doing, being content with simply watching the strange creature crawling around with a bucket picking something the bear wasn’t interested in eating.

So, remember you’re in Bear Country.. when starting out to pick an area it’s a good idea to make a fuss with conversation or, as one commercial harvester used to do, sing loudly as you head into the wood. {if you ever heard this guy sing, you’d understand why it would make a Bear run, even his own mother would run…;} If you have a medium to large dog bring it along, Bears hate dogs and typically will yield to them [leave your small dogs at home, the Bear might take it for squirrel, Bears like squirrels :} If you choose to carry a sidearm [mine is no longer staying in the truck this season] think large caliber, 40, 44, 45… a 22 is just going to piss a Bear off…

Alternatively, pick with friends you can run faster than… and be BEAR AWARE!

Ky & {Keara, the tuff mountain pup} ~

Kevin’s got too many morels!

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I received an email from Kevin F., a successful morel hunter who just has too many morels. Such a problem!! He said he found morels  SW of Bend at around 4500 ft. in mixed moist  woods, no burns.  Of course it finally rained today (Thurs. May 16).  He found even more yesterday, though (274.)  No boletes, however.  The photo looks like he washed them. I suggest that folks don’t wash morels until you are ready to use them because they decompose more quickly.  Just keep a damp towel over your stash in the frig until you are ready to devour them.

Clair’s Crater Lake morels

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Anyone find morels this weekend? We looked for just a short time near Davis Lake and found half a dozen species of fungi fruiting, but no morels. Clair, of course, did fine.

Clair’s email: “I took Ky’s advice, and went south. The woods are wet from about Chemult on down. I didn’t see much production in the Chemult area (possibly too high for now, may come on later?), but finally got into the morels south of the Crater Lake Park south boundary at around 4500 ft. Got a late start, but did OK for about 3 hr. of picking. It’s a long way to go, but it’s where the mushrooms are for the time being”

Clair’s does it again, always inspiring.

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One of our local fungiphiles who is just astounding at finding mushrooms when others are not, sent me this email and photos today. They definitely need to be posted, so here they are. Next time, Clair, you can post here and brag all you want!  P.S. I love Agaricus albolutescens!

“Had a little luck out on Green Ridge this morning, elevation around 4200ft. Some nice big fresh morels, plus a bonus A. albolutescens. The morels were tight in the pine needles. The second photo shows one hiding; the third photo shows it with the pine needles cleared. I did a lot of hands-and knees searching for these.

I covered a lot of ground for just these few, but we should have enough for Mother’s Day dinner.”

Wake up mushrooms!

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Spring has arrived in Central Oregon and finally we are seeing signs of fungi. I have heard reports that morels are beginning along the Metolius if you look hard enough. Ron and I spent a couple hours walking that gorgeous river yesterday, May 5, but found only a couple Sarcosphera crassas fruiting. They hadn’t even opened up. All the other signs were there, though – strawberrys blooming, small plants just a few inches tall and the grasses not too tall yet. No morels.
What are you finding out there?