The news about morels in southern Illinois was not encouragaing. All the same, the time is near around Chicago outdoors for finding morels, so I will start running Morel of the Week again.
Credit needs to go to Ben Bultema of Humboldt Park, who (in the photo above) convinced me last May to start running MOTW, similar to Buck of the Week in season and Fish of the Week weekly.
But things don't look promising, if this report from Joe McFarland, one of the authors of Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois & Surrounding States, is any indiction:
Locally, southern Illinois morel hunters are experiencing one of the worst seasons in recent memory, with veteran morel hunters--hunters who consistently brag about decades of incredible success--stumbling out of the woods dazed and defeated, many without a single morel for their effort. What's more, with temperatures steadily in the 80s daily, the season appears to be nearly over already in the Carbondale-Harrisburg region.
Fortunately, for those of use who've learned to identify other edible fungi throughout the year, it will be just a few short weeks before some of the great summer fungi appear--including our favorite: the Black Trumpet.
I'll try to keep you posted once in a while about what's popping up in the mushroom world.