Many Morels this May?
Forecasts are just that, forecasts for the most part. They are guesses, sometimes based on a few facts or even other forecasts or predictions. Fish and wildlife forecasts usually have a pile of data behind them, but are sometimes made far too early to be accurate.
Fungal forecasts, well, they are about as mysterious as the organisms themselves.
Still, here goes.
Morels are edible spring fungi.
Fact 1: Most things that appear in spring, such as flowers, fawns and morels, do most of their growing during the late fall or early winter in preparation for that burst of expansion in spring.
Fact 2: The fungal growing conditions last fall were nothing short of terrible. Some parts of Wisconsin were struggling with a severe drought. Many fungi love moisture.
Fact 3: Organisms that live mostly in the upper few inches of the soil did not do well last fall. Fungi that normally fruit in the fall were nearly absent.
Fact 4: One organism that grows much like morels, getting its nutrients from shallow tree roots, was completely absent during this drought. We know this organism as Indian pipe or ghost plant, because it is pure white, including its flower, stem and leaves.
Given these facts I’ll make my bleak prediction that morel picking, which normally takes place during May, will be very poor this spring.
I hope I’m way off base on this one.