Old/New

One of the things that I could pretty much count on as a constant at my old house was the annual appearance of morel mushrooms in the yard, usually by mid-April. At first I only noticed them in the front yard under a giant catalpa tree. This is one the shadiest spot in the yard; getting little if any direct sunlight.

In recent years I found morels in the back yard under an old redbud tree. Usually I would find just 3 or 4 morels in the front – once I found five, three in a group and two standalones. Under the redbud tree in the back I would find a dozen or more, but compared to those in the front the morels from the back were very small.

The area where they grew in the back was much sunnier and less protected that the area in the front and I wonder if that accounts for the size difference. This year I found another morel location in the back yard. It was on the opposite side of the back yard from the others, behind the garage where I used to stack my firewood. Like the front yard location this spot receive very little direct sunlight and was well protected. It produced only one (that I know of) morel, a large one.

The morel from the new spot differs from the others in the front and back in that it has a cone shape and is closed off at the top. The others tend to be more cylindrical or just mildly cone shaped with a blunt top versus a peak. They also are often open at the top. I have a hunch that these characteristics might be because I unknowingly run over them with the lawn mower and then see them the following week after they’ve grown some more. I have the blade set high in the spring so it is possible I’m topping off some of the taller ones. Also the new one I found this year is in a spot where I can’t mow so it wouldn’t get topped off.

 

This is the large (at least by my yard standards) morel that I found in the new spot in the back this year. It was 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) tall.

 

This is one of the morels from the front yard. I have a patent pending on what I’m about to tell you so don’t get any ideas. Last year I figured out how to safely extract the luciferin, luciferase, and adenosine triphosphate from a firefly and get this material into morel spores. This year’s new generation of morels have a bit of glow to them, similar to the one below. This will make hunting morels much easier than it is now.  I’m seein’ dollar signs in my future!

Oh … wait a minute.

That’s not my yard anymore!  Crap!

 

Alexander Graham Bell said:  “When one door closes another door opens …”, and that’s pretty much what happened at my new house with regard to mushrooms.  I knew I was going to miss the annual morel photo op at my old house and chalked it up to “things change, deal with it”.  I never imagined I would have a different, showier crop of mushrooms at the new house.

I believe these are parasol mushrooms.  We had had some rain and all of a sudden one morning at the end of April they popped up in the front yard.  I did some research on them using the Goggle machine and came away with the conclusion that they are either delicious, sickening, or deadly depending one which species you eat.  I started having problems telling the difference between the good and the bad on the different web sites and just gave up.  It doesn’t matter that much to me since I do not knowingly eat fungus.  I do like how photogenic they are.

This is what they looked like when they first appeared.  They remind me of some of the newer water towers you see in some small towns.

 

 

The next morning I discovered why they are called parasol mushrooms.

 

 

On the third day they opened up even more.

 

Thank you for visiting my blog and in case I don’t post again before this Saturday, I hope everyone has a nice fourth of July whether you celebrate it or it’s just another day for you.

David

All photos taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Sigma 105mm macro.
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13 thoughts on “Old/New

  1. Thank you Debra. Lots of people in the Midwest would love to have morels popping up in their yards, but that would deprive them and their morel clubs of spending hours in the woods looking for them. Of course their after party picnic always sounded pretty nice.

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  2. Thank you Donna. At first I thought the parasols would be easy to get a handle on but the more I read about them the more confused I became as to how to identify the good from the bad.

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