March, April and May, It's spring in Michigan!
And May is the time for the popular morel mushroom hunting, here in Northern Michigan.
For a large and growing number of outdoor enthusiasts, searching for this mushroom means many pleasant hours of exploring in the woods during the awaking season of spring. And so, another reason to get outdoors and enjoy the wonderful fresh air and delights of the woods!
What does a morel look like?
The morel is fairly easy to identify *(see photo courtesy thegreatmorel.com) . In appearance, the morel is very similar looking to a sponge. It grows in a cone or conical shape from two to six inches high. The distinguishing features are the tan to brown cap of the morel in the formation of irregular pits and ridges. The stem makes up 1/3 of the mushroom, is paler in color then the cap. The stem is attached to the bottom of the conical cap.
Where do you find morels?
You will find this delicacy in and on the edge of wooded and forested areas. It is somewhat difficult for the beginner to find at first as it blends into the grass and leaves of the surrounding area. Look for ash, aspen, elm, and oak trees, around which morels often grow. Dead and decaying trees are also a good bet. Early in the season you’ll find them on south-facing slopes and later in the season the will be found on north-facing slopes. Once you find one...slow down, there's more.
What do you do with morels after you find them?
You will want to soak your morels for a couple of hours covered in salted water. This will remove any hidden bugs and will allow the dirt to drop off.
The morel can be fried, stewed, creamed, canned or dried and used to flavor gravies and soups. Simply sauteed in butter is delicious! It does not taste like other mushrooms but rather has its own flavor.
Warning.......before ingesting any mushroom be 100% certain of the identity.
The morel isn't the only other mushroom out there. There are other mushrooms, including the false morel, and others that are toxic and should never, ever, be ingested!
Want more information about morels?
We found a really helpful and fun website with lots of information regarding morels. You'll see photos of real morels, and some photos of some really Ugly mushrooms that you don't want to eat.
Our state also has information regarding the morel mushroom.
David & Valerie Zimmer
Buyers of standing timber and owners of Greater Michigan Timber Management, a Forest and Timber Management company located in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan.
Call us for all your forest management needs at
(989) 390-0705 or
We are happy to answer any question you may have.
Greater Michigan Timber Management. Buyers of standing timber. Specializing in sustainable forestry management and sound stewardship practices.
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