Morel Mushroom Hunting Club

Newsletter September 2008

 "Morels in October, Literally, and Washington State Matsutake Foray"

By: Chris Matherly

-Part One-

     Upon arrival in Washington, I was eager to hit the woods and do some scoping out with my local buddy there, August Steinborn. We had word from another friend, John Holmes from Idaho, that he had stumbled onto some late Fall Fire Burn Morels! We decided to hit a fire area in Washington, as we were to meet up with John later in the evening. We found only a patch of False Morels (Gyromitra) which is also very rare in October. But John was bringing his Morels and I was more than anxious to see them. I had only heard rumors of Morels in October, never before seen them for myself. Most Morel hunters, especially in the Mid-West, have no idea that Morels occur in higher elevations well into September.

     You can see the date on the paper, and the last photo even shows two Matsutake along with the Morels, as Matsi only comes up in late Fall. The Morels were quite impressive. A few factors were in the play for these to fruit so late. First, a record snow pack from the following Winter, took many extra weeks to melt off, leaving the ground very cool for a prolonged time. Secondly, a marshy area in the burnsite, needed to dry out a bit before the Morels would fruit, and finally, a week of early cold weather, even a few nights in the low 20's, followed by a rapid warm up during the day in the mid 80's, made them pop up!

You can see the Gyromitra along with the Morels in this photo.

     This year (2008) I spotted my first Morels early in March. The last ones I saw fresh (I kept several in my refrigerator for a couple weeks) was mid October. This is a record for me of seeing fresh Morels! Now, all I have to do is head down to the southern tip of South America, and catch their Springtime which begins in November! (Or catch a rare Morel coming up in Australia), then move onto Jerusalem, where Morels can be found in just about any month of the year. 

-Part Two-

     August and I scoped out several areas in preparation for the Guided Foray, and spotted many great edible mushrooms. The woods were just full of mushrooms, all kinds! I had a few people inquire, but decline on attending, thinking that conditions were too dry, and there would be no mushrooms. They can now see what they missed!

Blue Chanterelles

Hawk's Wings (Hedgehog)

Fried Chicken Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

Lobsters everywhere!

Matsi popping through!

Cauliflower Mushroom

White Chanterelles

King Boletes and Scaber Stalks

Golden Chanterelles

Chicken Of The Woods

Blue Polypore (edible)

We also found a nice Lion's Mane, and several other edibles. I was amazed at the diversity and the quantity of mushrooms!

The Foray begins.....

Fresh Bear Poop awaits us!

Matsi within a few minutes!

Fresh snow on the Mountain

The rain really never stopped, but nor did we, as the mushrooms were so plentiful!

Full baskets of Matsutake for everyone!

A giant Bolete!

This is Candy-Cane plant, an indicator of Matsi being near by!

That's a big number one!

Then we finished it off with a big Steak and Mushroom feast, fit for a King! The above dish, is my Pasta creation loaded with Matsutake, and Chanterelles. WOW!@!!!!!!

I hope you enjoyed the newsletter, I certainly enjoyed the Foray! A special thanks to August, for his time, and all of his knowledge and advice. Also, thanks to all who attended, it was my pleasure to teach you what I know, and do the cooking demonstrations for you, I hope you enjoyed the food as much as the hunt!  -Chris M


The next foray:

January 30th-February 1st, 2009 Mid-Winter Truffle Foray- Oregon-  I still have openings for this one!


You do not have to be a member to use these helpful tools:


Registration is Now Open For several Guided Mushroom Hunts in 2008:

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