2021 Morel Season Update #2
Here’s what I’m seeing out there:
There’s only ONE GOOD WEEKEND LEFT! Morels will likely continue to be found after this weekend, but this will be the last decent weekend of hunting for those merkels. Here’s why:
In southwest Minnesota along the MN River towards Mankato (which typically warms up sooner than St. Croix valley or the driftless area around Red Wing down to Rochester) the season is far along. Even north-facing slopes (the ones that warm up slowest) are starting to produce big morels and some of the “thick footed morels” which indicate the end of the season. Even in the Red Wing area, some pretty big yellows are being found.
Northeast of the Twin Cities, along the St. Croix valley, there are still some spots producing fresh, young greys. Occasionally, they are right alongside big yellows. Those small greys in cooler conditions can take up to a couple weeks to grow to full size. With all this rain and heat, it will be much quicker.
Folks, as my father in law likes to say, it’s been drier than a popcorn fart out there. But, alas, in the last couple days we’ve gotten RAIN!!!! Hopefully that keeps up. At this point, I think it won’t make a big difference. What is out that is in good shape will get big very fast with both warmth and rain. What is out there that is not in good shape or is old will quickly deteriorate.
People always ask "will this rain bring a second flush?" Personally, I doubt it. At this point what is going to pop has already popped except for maybe a few spots at the bottom of a chasm. As I've said, what the rain likely will do is cause the young fresh ones out there to get big quick and any old ones will rot.
We’re starting to get some very warm days. One or two days in the 80’s will dry out some morels, mushroom others, but four or five days in the 80’s heralds the end of the season.
What rain and warmth means is that chicken of the woods and oysters will begin to flush. Chicken of the woods are amazing, almost as good as morels in my opinion. And more versatile in the kitchen, in a lot of ways. Oysters are ubiquitous and occur in flushes so large you can easily walk out of the woods with ten lbs in less than an hour if you are in the right spot.