Thursday, April 23, 2015

End of the Morels

It is with great sadness that I announce the end of morel season along Bull Creek.  You who have hunted the deep recesses with us where they are most likely found know that we have a limited number that we are willing to share with you (maybe 2, depending on the year).  None of our other friends should feel bad.  We would gladly share our food, drinks, company, even our third born child, (unlikely in that we have 2 children in their 40's and are holding), but morels are a little more special.

Our first morel - really!
Our gradual descent into Morel Madness began in 1998, shortly after we moved to Bull Creek.  We were on ATVs when Barb spotted one under a red oak, a technique we call drive-by mycology.  We had seen just enough pictures of morels to recognize it.  Cutting it in half and confirming it was hollow, we celebrated that find, then found no more for a year.

Our knowledgeable friend told us to look for them around oak, hackberry and hickory, and dogwood trees and under every may apple, "while I will waste my time looking under those ash trees over there."  This was  our first hard lesson in morel friendships.

Find the morel
Morels can be hard to find, especially in a year like this one where snow hasn't been deep enough to compact the leaf litter.  The tips may barely protrude and a squirrel-chewed walnut or acorn cap looks like a small morel at first glance.  Starting out, it pays to hold a morel in your hand to focus the image in your mind.  Of course, you have to find the first one for that to work.

If only it were this easy.
This fungal fruit is one that separates the men from the boys, the women from the men, and your best-friend-ever from your blood-brothers.  More friendships have been destroyed by keeping the "honey-holes" secret than ever were threatened on any reality show.

Morel hunting creates a wide range of emotions.
If you think about it, it makes sense.  Bragging rights and competition in finding the most or the biggest can destroy friendships.  Morels are best consumed fresh, are more addictive than anything on the FDA's website, and are shared at greater risk than a DEA helicopter's coordinates for a marijuana patch.  And did I mention that they are beautiful?

Morel beauty from "Mushroom Annie"
That said, because you are a regular follower of this blog, we have a special relationship beyond blood brothers and sisters.  I am going to share with you directions to the special place we call our "honey hole".

Head down US 65 beyond Hollister.  Just after you cross the Arkansas state line, turn left (you know the road).  They are two miles down on the right.  Don't tell anyone I told you.  It will be our secret. Wink.

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