This section is dedicated to the humorous side of this great spring adventure. For some reason, late winter starts to bring about the conversations of mushrooms and being out in the woods. Stories of the past year’s hunts and hikes start to surface and you begin to get this indescribable urge as your mind begins thinking about the coming year’s hunt.
While your here, check out the some of the stories that have been sent to The Great Morel. As far as the stories go, The Great Morel will leave it up to you as to validity of them.
“Life begins when the season starts…”
a quote by Brianna Axtell in southeast Minnesota
Mushroom Hunting Theories – Myths or Truths???
- where there is one, there are many…
- see them in your sleep (just before your body falls into deep sleep)
- always leave at least one mushroom in the woods (insures they’ll be more next year)
- pop straight out of the ground
- where you find greys, yellows will follow
- check under or around the May Apples
- the source of the spore eventually dies off
- they should be pinched or cut, not pulled out of the ground
- check water run-offs along the sides of the hills
- apple orchards are a haven for big yellows
- speak to the Mushroom Gods before each hunt
Curious as to what a mushroom sounds like?
This is cute, so turn your sound up a little bit and click on these little grey morels to find out.
Thanks to Russell in Lima Ohio for this cute addition. If you feel like tormenting an old buddy in the middle of winter, then send this to him!
The Six Week Training Regiment
Below is the suggested pre-expedition mental and physical training regiment:
6 weeks b/4 start
- talk all the shroom’n trash you can think up –
- program your mind not to remember the pain (damn freak’n hills)
- start your physical training by thinking about being in shape
- begin practicing the art of bending over-tie your shoes 3-4 times a day
- lip sink the words “Got some over here”
- recondition your mind on the old places where you found shrooms b/4
- practice climbing over your neighbors fence
- Prepare your equipment
- walk around the block once to get the heart beat going
- increase the shoe tying to 5-6 times a day
- begin nightly dreaming stage (usually associated with shroom’n)
- walk to the grocery and buy butter, crackers and brown bags(**)
- let your dog out and watch him/her run and imagine keeping that pace for about 8 hours
- increase walk around the block to 3 times around block
- begin practicing out-load “Got some over here!!”
- have your better half hide sponges in the yard and you attempt to go and find them
- rest up after following the stringent regiment above, sit back and wait for those babies to start popping up around around your feet!
Equipment list required for all shroomers
- Durable, long and baggy pants.
- Long sleeved shirt and jacket. (preferably waterproof and ability to shed briars)
- Hat, baseball style to help with the sun.
- Walking stick. Any stick that will support your weight and prevent you from falling down hills and used to lift underbrush to uncover the hidden shrooms.
- Hiking boots. Waterproof and at least over-the-ankle in height.
- Mushroom holding sack. Preferably made from cloth or mesh, as plastic does not allow the shrooms to breathe. Onion bags are a preference of many.
- Vehicle – No matter how hard you try to prevent it, the vehicle will get dirty. Wet dogs don’t try to prevent getting the vehicle dirty.
- Labrador Retriever. (Black, yellow, or Chocolate) They do not have to have a nose for shrooms, but wow are fun to watch run like the wind through the woods.
- Relatives and good friends. The more the merrier.
Courtesy of Dan Wood.
Wayne¹s Wacky Mushroom Glossary
- acute – a description of a good looking mushroom, when used in a sentence such as, “That is acute shroom!”
- annulus – The rear end of a mushroom. Something you don¹t discuss on a family web page.
- areolate – looking like nipples. Something else you don¹t discuss on a family web page.
- ascus – a derogatory term describing another mushroom hunter you don¹t like. Used in a sentence such as, “What an ascus.”
- autodigestion – eating in the car on the way to mushroom hunting grounds.
- bolete – The very best of the bowlers. “They¹re the bolete!” Despite what you hear it has nothing to do with mushrooms
- buff – foraying with no clothes on
- butt rot – what you get from being too flaccid (see flaccid)
- cap – what you wear when foraying (If you needed to look this one up, you should let someone else drive to the foray site)
- capitate – after cutting a mushroom off at the ground, and finding you don¹t want it, you put it back the way it was. In other words, you decapitate it, then capitate it.
- cellular – within cell phone range while foraying
- cellulose – the stuff plastic specimen bags are made of
- collarlike – a religious mushroom hunter, referring to the clerical collar they might wear
- conk – what you do if you catch someone in your patch. You ³conk² them on the head.
- convoluted – the directions you give to your favorite mushroom spot so they won¹t find it
- cortina – what you see mushrooms with (inside your eye)
- decurrent – used in a sentence to as the time or date, as in What¹s decurrent time?
- deliquescing – stopping at a deli to relax on the way to or from a foray
- depressed – what you are when you find someone¹s been there before you
- distant – where the best mushrooms are from you
- eccentric – most mushroom hunters
- expanded – what many mushroom hunters are from eating too many gourmet meals
- flaccid – what male mushroom hunters are after eating a gourmet meal
- free – what wild mushrooms are, compared to store bought
- fruiting body – mushroomer capable of bearing children
- fungophile – the list you keep of your best mushroom hunting areas
- funiculus – something you don¹t discuss on a family web page
- gastroid – what you feel like after eating too much at the Cook and Taste
- genus – someone who knows everything about mushrooms
- globose – what you hope you don¹t look like after eating too many gourmet mushroom meals
- heart rot – what you get from cooking your mushrooms in butter, instead of olive oil
- indeterminate – when you don¹t know where to go mushroom hunting
- lumper – something to hit other mushroomers on the head with if they invade your ³patch²
- marginate – used instead of butter in cooking mushrooms
- membranous – another term for a really smart mushroomer (see genus)
- notched – what you are after drinking too much wine at the foray lunch
- obtuse – what you become to other people after drinking too much wine at the foray lunch
- persistent – what you have to be to find the best mushroom spots
- pocket rot – what happens when you leave a specimen in your jeans for a week or two
- pubescent – what you are if you start mushrooming before age 10
- recurved – a female mushroomer who went to a plastic surgeon
- splitter – a mushroomer who constantly expels saliva while on a foray
- stuffed – what you are after a great mushroom meal
- superior – what you feel when you have a full basket of mushrooms
- top rot – a ball-headed mushroomer
- volva – what some mushroomers drive to the foray spot
- warts – what you won¹t get from touching mushrooms
(for the scientific definitions, please read David Arora’s Mushrooms Demystified, and turn to the Glossary at the back of the book) Courtesy of www.gmushrooms.com/MushDemys and printed with permission.
The Mushroom War Of ’94
Well it was an April mornin’ wet and warm
Seventy degrees after a thunderstorm
I stuffed a bread sack in my back pocket and I headed out for the woods
I seen a couple kids spittin’ off’a the bridge
So I slipped along the fence-line and I low-crawled the ridge
But when I seen those footprints, buddy I lost all sense of right, wrong, bad or good
I hereby declare it and I’ll tell ya what’s more
Those scum-suckin’ slime buckets leavin’ those stumps
Are goin’ down for sure
You can beat me to my fishin’ hole, there’s plenty of fish
But when you start takin’ fungus off a good ol boys dish
It’s time for the mushroom war of ’94
Well I heard some voices thru the trees
Just’a laughin’ perty as ya please
They were haulin’ out my harvest in some fancy burlap sack
I sat right down, took off my socks
Filled ’em full of walnuts and some heavy old rocks
Then I took off screamin’ towards them mushroom thievin’ demons
Lookin’ for some heads to crack
It’s the mushroom war of ’94
Thain’t the kinda mushrooms you can buy at the store
Them slick-chicken patch-pickin’ low-life slugs
Are messin with my spores
You can rob my garden blind late in the night
But touch my morels and ya best be ready to fight
It’s the mushroom war of ’94
I came up on ’em like a wild-man and said
With both socks swingin’ above my head
If ya wanna see tomorrow boys ya better drop that bag right there
Well one of ’em tried goin’ for a stick layin’ near
So I popped him with my sock-o-rocks upside of his ear
His ear popped, the bag dropped, his buddy took to runnin’
Guess I made myself real clear
It’s the mushroom war of ’94
If ya think ya want my mushrooms well ya better think some more Snake-bellied, brain-jellied, timber-trackin-cleptos ain’t somethin’ I’d ignore
You can take my dog and turn him into mexican food
But pullin’ up my poppers, well now that’s gettin’ rude
You’ll be in for a war like ’94
Well that’s my story and it’s all true
Except for the beginning and the rest the way through
But ya gotta admit those footprints have made ya feel that way before
Well keep your good wool socks on your feet for the snow
But keep a spare pair around close cause ya just never know
When you’ll be in for a war like ’94….. Danny Stephens
Bob the Morel…???
(dont’ ask, The Great Morel does not write them, just publishes them)
Dear Great Morel and the Mushroom Warriors,
This is a story of epic proportions. It was the great hunt of ’89 ya see and well me and three of my buddies decided to go out and git us some supper. Ya know, the morel supper. Well we took off about 7:00, or maybe it was 8:00……..naw it was about 11:30 because me and the boys were up late the night before watchin the dog fights ya see. But anyways, we a set out real quiet like. Before I knew it, I was split up from the boys. Now some people say it was the moonshine I was a drinkin, but I think it was the morels playin their jedi mind tricks so they could take us on one by one. You know how tricky they can git. Well I was walkin along using my ninja like senses when all of a sudden I was flat on my face. I look down and I guess I had tripped on that stump. Now most people will tell ya that it was because I was drunker than two legged dog tryin to hump a dead tree stump. But we morel hunters know darn well how they like to just spring up under logs so that they can knock us on our ass. Damn tricky ass mushrooms. But when I looked up, there he was the morel of all morels. He must have stood 2……no, 4 feet tall. And his name was Bob. Well I did what comes natural to all us veteran morel hunters. I charged the son of a bitch. I mean I threw everything I had at him including my fists. But the next thing I knew, he had me on my back and then everything went black. I woke up three days later in jail with the letter B tattoed on each but cheek. Now what they charged me with was felonious assault on circus midgets. But we morel hunters know what really happened. So a warning to all you rookie mushroom hunters, beware of their Jedi mind tricks. And if you ever see the legendary Bob Morel, cover your #$$ and run.
May is morel madness month
This is the season when animals, crazed with mating fever, blunder onto highways, oblivious of oncoming traffic. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is also morel mushroom season, when otherwise rational individuals abandon their families or call in sick from work to pursue an illusive fungus that is a second cousin to athlete’s foot. Some say morels are good to eat. Walnuts are also good to eat. But, in Iowa, most walnuts that are not run over by lawn mowers or raked into trashcans are left for the squirrels. The morel, like Beluga caviar, is considered an expensive delicacy for those with the refined taste to appreciate it. There might be annual Beluga festivals if the stuff could be harvested in your own back yard, without having to personally remove it from a large toothy fish. But it’s not as if hunting mushrooms is not dangerous. The chance that you might get sick or die from eating the wrong kind of mushroom is part of the attraction. Lots of people have died from eating mushrooms, including the Roman emperor Claudius, who should have known better than to eat his wife’s cooking in the first place. Mushrooms are like spiders. They evoke images of death and decay. They thrive in dark secretive rotting places that make the average person shudder.....Continue reading May is morel madness month
Maybe more people would eat spiders, if they weren’t so common. Morels sell for about $20 a pound. If you leave them sitting on the kitchen counter for two days, they melt into a festering ooze you couldn’t pay somebody $20 to scoop into the trash. The perishable nature of morels contributes to their reputation as a dainty treat for sophisticated palettes. The state of Michigan is mad about mushrooms, holding an annual National Mushroom Festival every May. In 1984, 17,000 people attended the festival and over a half million participated in the mushroom hunt that month. Paris has hundreds of miles of mushroom beds in caves beneath the city. Chester County, Pennsylvania produces half the US production of mushrooms. There, pickers wear miner’s hats with lamps to harvest the precious crop.
A true mushroomer has a little larceny in his heart. He wants something rare and expensive – and he wants it for free. The best place to hunt morels is on someone else’s property. If you’re not trespassing, you don’t get the genuine morel experience.
It takes a special kind of person to hunt morels. If you’re wondering if you have what it takes, the following test might help you decide: You have been hunting unsuccessfully for morels for hours when suddenly, you trip over a wet log and break your leg and, simultaneously, discover a huge patch of yellow morels. When you hear a distant hiker walking by, you… (a) call for help (b) pick all the mushrooms in sight before calling for help or (c) pick all the mushrooms in sight. Then, drag yourself back to your car and set your broken leg yourself because the doctor might horn in on your morels while you’re in traction.
If you did not answer (c), chances are, you probably also think $20 a pound is a lot to pay for mushrooms.
Re-printed with permission by the author Dan Brawner (written for local paper in Mount Vernon, Iowa.)
Courtesy of Threw …”Here’s a poem I wrote for my father-in-law, one of the great morel hunters!”
It was a magic day in early May,
when Grandpa did arrive to say,
“It’s time to hunt
With special sticks and sacks in hand
we hunted, searched, and scoured the land,
all for the love
We felt the prick of many a rose
as we traversed the path he chose,
in the quest for the
while we crawled around on hands and knees
looking for the
Oh, Grandpa dear, you are the one
who taught us how to have such fun
So this year, remember, in early May,
we will reserve a special day
for us all to look and laugh
and maybe even find
Courtesy of A Arford
My Fellow Mycologists
We did not find them in the woods
Although I was so sure we could.
We did not find them in the grass
It was so tall it almost tickled my elbow.
We did not find them by the road
I was so sure – I just had known
We did not find them by the river
No, never, never, never.
We did not find them in the corn or wheat
But an old corncob made my heart skip a beat.
We did not find them around the lake
But we did chase out a vicious snake.
We did not find them in the slough
Though we walked it through and through.
We did find nettles, poison ivy and ticks
And thorn bushes that gave us nasty pricks.
We got sunburned heads, necks, and arms
Blistered feet, parched throats, but no REAL harm.
There’s something on my leg and in my pants
When you mess with Mother Nature you don’t stand a chance.
We stumbled over logs and crawled under bushes
Oh, for a genie with 3 magic wishes!
That bunny that just ran by had fangs
Isn’t that a bit queer.
Good grief almighty, get me out of HEREEEEE!
Let’s go home and have a cold beer.
Man —-wasn’t that the greatest day.
What say, we take off again around noon tomorrow…
And yet another Poem….
Courtesy of Rich Mattas in Elizabeth, Illinois (April 2010)
Ode to a Morel
Oh, tiny morsel of supreme delectability,
I pursue thee over hill and dale for thy edibility.
In spite of being a fungus of wondrous distinction,
Thou hast a meek and humble disposition.
Thy countenance is difficult to perceive,
Remaining hidden beneath twigs and leaves.
Only the just and deserving may espy
The secret recesses thou dost occupy.
Once found thou art quickly mined
And placed in a sack with others of your kind.
The journey home is a simple chore
While thinking of meals thy will adorn.
And so I return with a treasure trove
Of mushrooms worth their weight in gold.
During a limited time in the Spring
Thee allows me to feast like a king.
To thee, delicious saprophyte, all credit is due
For flavoring the soup and the stew.
Although from the lowest origins thee appears
Thou art esteemed throughout the years.
The morel of the story is …
We have a high morel count …
No lack of morels here …
We are not suffering from low morel …
Courtesy of John
Hey here’s a few morel haikus I made up, according to the 5-7-5 syllable rule that most of us all learned in grade school. Hope ya like em.
Brown wrinkly features
camouflaged in the forest.
S**T! I stepped on one!!
Morels in the woods
See strangers in the distance.
Grrrrr, jumpin my claim.
Novice shroom hunters
....Continue reading Morel Haikus
Where do you find them? they say.
Guffaw in their face.
Phone call while cooking.
Dog snarfs my shrooms from the pan.
He’s buried in yard.
Fell down while shroomin’.
Compound fracture through the skin
That’s what bone looks like!
Searching for morels,
brushing against the branches.
TTIICCKK!! Get it off me!!!
Morels in the bowl.
Little bugs abandon ship.
Rinse! Rinse ’em again!
Stop! Can ya smell ’em?
Fungal spores hang in the air.
Just follow your nose!
Half free, dog pecker.
Whatever you’re callin’ em.
They still fall apart.
Long day of shroomin’.
Quit or look over this hill.
…Found the muthalode!
Morel Values…a Poem
Courtesy of E Peter Brunette – Northfield, MN
I’ll share with you a secret,
If you promise not to tell.
About a tasty mushroom,
It’s known as the Morel.
Some people plan all winter,
It’s why they wait for spring.
To go afield out searching,
For that delightful little thing.
When lilacs have turned purple,
And about to go to bloom,
It’s time to be out looking
for your favorite mushroom.
....Continue reading Morel Values
You’ll be puting up with woodticks,
And nettle weed that stings.
But I guess it’s all quite worth it,
For all the joy it brings.
When you bring this your treasure,
That a hat would barely fill,
But will make one meal so special,
For this an annual thrill.
So fry them up in butter,
Or put them in a stew.
You can dice them up for meatloaf,
I guess it’s up to you.
So if you find yourself a spot,
Where the tasty mushrooms sprout,
You dare not breath a word of it,
That’s what it’s all about.
Cause if you share it with a friend,
Though sworn to secrecy,
Next year you’ll go back to your spot,
And there your friend will be!
A Poem appropriately titled…Morel Mushroom
Courtesy of L E Sims
“I thought you might be able to use something like this in one of your newsletters. You have my permission to extract and publish it in any way you deem appropriate. Thank you, L.E. Sims”
You’ll need Adobe Reader to read this, if you have it then click here and enjoy.
Sacrifice your walking stick…
PS – In order to hunt successfully the next day, you must snap your walking stick in half and toss it into the woods as you leave as a sacrifice to the Mushroom Gods of the Woods. Otherwise you’ll get skunked the next day. Trust me, they’re watching you.
Courtesy of LTB, Northern Michigan
The Old Ash Tree
Courtesy of Courtesy of Judy Stockwell (story is based in Vanderbilt, Mi 2005)
After a little bit of walking,
my bladder and I did not agree.
I needed to relieve myself,
by the old ash tree.
Upon squatting in the forest leaves,
But what did I see.
A big fat mushroom staring back at me!