Any outdoorsman or woman who misses out on searching and gathering morel mushroom fungi this spring is missing a real outdoors treat.
Even those of us who are allergic to morels shouldn’t shy away. There are always folks to feed, places to sell the morsels, or tricks to play with a motherlode sometimes found under special elms, apples, oaks and aspens.
Twice I found a deer antler while searching. Numerous times a turkey nest appeared; even saw a few morels growing inches away from the eggs. Talk about an omelet idea in the making.
Turkey hunters who are tired or wet from sitting in the rain can get energized by hiking through the forest and filling their game bag with mushrooms.
Morels make great surprise gifts, too. I recall the student who mentioned that his mother wanted to go morel hunting with her son and that was the only gift she wanted on Mother’s Day. No flowers, no cards, no candy, just a chance to find morels with her son.
I’ve heard similar stories about watercress and trout. She may appreciate them as a gift, too.
When the catch-and-keep trout season opened I encountered a woman getting ready to fish among the men. She had tears in her eyes when she told me of using her daughter’s pole for the first time. Her ex-husband gave the mom the pole Jessica had never been able to use before she fell and died while on a hiking expedition in Alaska, where she worked as a marine biologist.
Outdoors adventures, even the short, inexpensive ones can provide special memories for moms, dads, friends and folks we just met.