Early Spring Minnesota Mushrooms
By Martha // Posted 6 May, 2011 in: Photography
Hoping to catch the earliest of the season’s morels, Tom and I headed south last weekend in search of the Minnesota State Mushroom. As with any mushroom trip, the central goal — the one that we try to convince ourselves of over and over, as we continue to tote an empty basket — was to have a great walk in the woods. As you can see from these images, we didn’t find any morels. But we had our eyes open for whatever the forest had to share and enjoyed being outside in Minnesota spring, such as it is.
In the first picture below, you’ll see how I originally found one mushroom (uncovered, at right) completely buried in autumn leaves. This was the last fungus we spotted and the most morel-like. Comparing pictures is never a recommended way to identify a mushroom — especially if you plan to eat it — but this one looks a lot like Gyromitra fastigiata or Gyromitra brunnea. While we couldn’t be certain about much of what we saw, Tom was able to identify a few of our finds using our new copy of Mushrooms Demystified, which we brought along but left in the car due to its heft.
After 2+ hours of walking, Tom and I shared a picnic and considered whether to continue looking or head home. We decided on the latter but couldn’t shake the suspicion that actual morels were actively popping up along all those unexplored trails. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to head out again this weekend after stopping by Opening Day at Midtown Farmers Market. You can be sure we’ll keep you posted if we find anything of note or at the very least, something of visual interest on the forest floor.