2022 Michigan Morel Season is Here!

Mushrooms on Pine View Golf Course by Corey Seeman

Mushrooms on Pine View Golf Course by Corey Seeman

My Michigan morel mushroom groups are starting to light up with mushroom finds so it’s a good time to remind folks that May is morel month in Michigan!

The actual fruiting period can be anywhere from late April until mid-June depending on where you are in the Mitten & what species you are hunting. Contrary to common belief, morels are not confined to the northern part of the state – some of the best picking (such as the photo today) can be found in southern Michigan.

MOREL HUNTING TIPS

  • Make your first several mushroom hunts, whether for morels or other edible mushroom species, with someone who knows mushrooms.
  • Buy or download a mushroom guide. A good guidebook is “The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide” by Alexander H. Smith, recognized as America’s foremost authority on mushroom identification, and Nancy Smith Weber. There also is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
  • Be prepared to cover a lot of ground and to experience disappointments when searching for morels. Some spots yield mushrooms year after year, while others skip several seasons between crops.
  • Don’t expect to find morels easily if you are new to the pastime. Because they blend into their background of last fall’s leaves and dead grass, they are hard to see even if you are looking right at them. Your “eye” for morels will sharpen with practice, and you will need to retrain it every spring.
  • Most important of all – know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms, which are poisonous. (See morel identification information.)
  • For more information on morel mushroom hunting in Michigan, visit Pure Michigan or Midwest American Mycological Information.
  • And finally, the Morel tag on Michigan in Pictures is chock full of great advice. Happy hunting!!

Corey took this on May 4th in Ypsilanti last year. Head over to his Flickr for his latest!

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Seussberries

Seussberries by Blondieyooper

Untitled by Blondieyooper

Here’s an awesome shot I’ve shared before, but it’s always good to have a little Wednesday weirdness. Blondieyooper explained “These cute little ones were fun to find. The blueberries were big compared to the mushrooms. :) I’m easily amused!”

Me too! See more in her Dr Seussish File gallery on Flickr.

Lots more weird & wonderful pics on Michigan in Pictures!

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Faerie Lights: Bioluminescent Oyster Mushrooms

Bioluminscent Oyster Mushrooms by Jeff Baurs

Bioluminescent Oyster Mushrooms by Jeff Baurs

It’s not every day that I learn something new about Michigan, but the fact that Michigan has mushrooms that produce their own illumination is a new one to me!! PlantSnap explains that Bitter Oyster Mushrooms (Panellus stipticus) are one of over 80 species of bioluminescent mushrooms:

The mushrooms use a class of molecules called luciferins, which paired with an enzyme and oxygen, release light. Panellus stipticus (also known as the bitter oyster) is one of the brightest-glowing examples of bioluminescent fungi. It is found throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. These flat mushrooms grow on tree branches creating a mesmerizing effect as soon as the sun goes down. Foragers are able to find this variety growing around birch, oak, and beech trees.

The luciferins found in bioluminescent mushrooms are the same compound found in fireflies and underwater creatures.

They recommend that the best way to find them is by identifying them in the daytime, and you can head over to It’s Nature for a look at the bitter oyster mushroom.

Jeff took this photo a couple nights ago in southwest Michigan (Barry County). You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for more great pics!

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2021 Michigan Morel Season is here!

White Morel by Rick Wolanin

White Morel by Rick Wolanin

This week I’ve started to see people posting their finds in the various morel hunting groups I’m in, so it’s time to declare the 2021 season officially underway! Michigan in Pictures has a ton of information about Michigan morels, including hunting tips & how to avoid the mildly toxic false morel.

Rick took this photo back in May of 2014 near Boyne City (home to a bangin’ morel festival) and you can see more in his Morel Mushrooms taken within 5 miles of Boyne City gallery on Flickr.

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The 2020 Michigan Morel Season is Underway!

Yellow Morel (Morchella esculenta) by J Sommer

Yellow Morel (Morchella esculenta) by J Sommer

The online mushroom groups I’m in are already filling up with photos of happy people & their hauls of a popular Michigan springtime delicacy – morel mushrooms! The Michigan Department of Natural Resources  offers a Morel Mushroom Hunting page that features information about morels & morel identification, hunting tips, recipes, and also a map of the large burn sites in forested areas are ideal for morel mushroom hunting, especially in burned areas where jack, white or red pine once grew. Grassy and other non forest areas are not as likely to produce morels:

May is morel month in Michigan, but the actual fruiting period is from late April until mid-June, depending on where you are and what species you are hunting. Contrary to common belief, morels are not confined to the northern part of the state – some of the best picking is in southern Michigan.

MOREL HUNTING TIPS

  • Make your first several mushroom hunts, whether for morels or other edible mushroom species, with someone who knows mushrooms.
  • Buy or download a mushroom guide. A good guidebook is “The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide” by Alexander H. Smith, recognized as America’s foremost authority on mushroom identification, and Nancy Smith Weber. There also is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
  • Be prepared to cover a lot of ground and to experience disappointments when searching for morels. Some spots yield mushrooms year after year, while others skip several seasons between crops.
  • Don’t expect to find morels easily if you are new to the pastime. Because they blend into their background of last fall’s leaves and dead grass, they are hard to see even if you are looking right at them. Your “eye” for morels will sharpen with practice, and you will need to retrain it every spring.
  • Most important of all – know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms, which are poisonous. (See morel identification information.)
  • For more information on morel mushroom hunting in Michigan, visit Pure Michigan or Midwest American Mycological Information.

J Sommer took this photo back in May of 2017 near Saginaw. See this photo and more in their Fungi gallery on Flickr.

There is a bunch more information about morels at the morel tag on Michigan in Pictures.

Morel Time: 2018 Edition

Twin Morels worth a zoom, photo by Mark Smith

Mark took this photo back in May of 2015, but I’m hearing from friends in Leelanau that morels are starting to pop. We’ve had some great rain over the last few days all around Michigan and the temps are about right for morel magic!

View Mark’s photo background bigilicious and see more in Mark’s slideshow.

There’s more morels action in the Michigan in Pictures Morel tag and some great tips in this Morel Madness feature on my Leelanau.com website.

More spring wallpaper for your computer too!

First Day of Fall Puffballs

first-day-of-fall-puffballs

Happy First Day of Autumn, photo by Julie

The spring, summer, is quite a hectic time for people in their lives, but then it comes to autumn, and to winter, and you can’t but help think back to the year that was, and then hopefully looking forward to the year that is approaching.
-Enya

Happy second day of fall everyone. I’m usually pretty good about marking that seasonal stuff, but in my defense, I DID eat some puffballs the day before yesterday and marked a few today.

In case you’re interested in exploring edible, wild mushrooms, the giant puffball is considered one of the “Foolproof Four” – widespread and easy to identify mushrooms. Mushroom Appreciation’s page on Giant Puffball mushrooms has lots of pictures, puffball facts, and identification tips and says (in part):

Giant puffballs are saprotrophs, meaning they feed on dead organic matter. They’re more likely found in meadows and grasslands than in the forest. They are always found growing on the ground rather than up in trees.

Giant puffballs are aptly named. They are usually quite large, reaching soccer ball size or bigger. They usually have a circumference (distance around) of 4 to 30 inches, although larger ones are not uncommon. There is no distinct cap and stem with these mushrooms; instead they exist as just large, white globes. They may not be perfectly round. Giant puffballs are white with firm white flesh inside. If they appear yellowish or brown is means that the mushroom is about to/has gone to spore, and is not edible anymore.

…Correct identification is crucial. If you think you’ve found a giant puffball the first thing to do is cut it open. It should have thick, hard, white flesh inside. Don’t eat anything with a brown, black, purple, or yellow interior. It may be an earthball (Scleroderma citrinum) or some other gastric distress inducing mushroom.

This white flesh should be solid with no gills. If you see any evidence of gills disregard immediately. Some species, including the deadly Amanita, have a “universal veil” of tissue that surrounds the mushroom when young. This can make it look like a puffball.

Inexperienced hunters should check with someone knowledgeable if they think they’ve found a giant puffball. An incorrect guess can kill if it turns out to be an Aminita! Please be careful.

Julie shared the Enya quote above, and she shares a ton of great photos in the Absolute Michigan pool. Check her photo out bigger and get yourself in the spirit of the season with her Fall slideshow!

If you do find a giant puffball, here’s a recipe from the Mycological Society of San Francisco’s excellent page on Puffballs from Hope Miller, coauthor of the book Mushrooms in Color.

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • About 1 pound puffballs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter or more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons oil or more if needed

Mix the salt with the flour. Dip the mushroom slices in the flour, then in the egg, and last, in the cheese. Melt the butter and oil in a sauté pan or skillet and sauté the mushrooms slowly until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve at once.

OK. I can do that.

2016 Michigan Morel Season Underway!

Backyard Morels

backyard morels, photo by Jason Rydquist

I’ve been getting word from various parts of the state that morel mushrooms are being found! They’re one of my favorite Michigan foods, and over on Absolute Michigan today I’ve put together Five Things you need to know about Michigan Morels. It includes a new online tool that could be of use to morel hunters so check it out!

View Jason’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Lots more morels on Michigan in Pictures.

Golden Mushroom

Mushroom by Kevin Povenz

Mushroom, photo by Kevin Povenz

Kevin says that Google suggests this mushroom is amanita flavoconia, putting it squarely in the “look but probably better not eat” category.

View it bigger and see more in Kevin’s Flowers/Plants slideshow.

More mushrooms on Michigan in Pictures.

The colors of fall are all around

Explore colors of fall - wild mushroom

Explore colors of fall – wild mushroom, photo by bumkicho

Bumki Cho offers a visual reminder that the colors of fall are up, down and all around.

Check the photo out background big and see more in his slideshow.

More fall on Michigan in Pictures!