Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Morel mushroom

with 23 comments

Morel Mushroom 4700

On March 23rd, some friends and I went on a mushroom hunt close to the place on Old Lampasas Trail where I went back and photographed the golden groundsel the next day. I led our little group to the spot where some years earlier I’d found a colony of morel mushrooms, Morchella esculenta, large enough to have gathered (and then eaten) several pounds of them, but this time there wasn’t a single one. We kept looking in the area, and eventually along a nearby creek we managed to find exactly three morel mushrooms. This was one of the three.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 18, 2014 at 6:00 AM

23 Responses

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  1. I went hunting for Morels last year for the first time but a little in the season. Still I managed to find three. I’m planning on trying again this.


    April 18, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    • It’s a coincidence that you, too, found three morels. Let’s wish ourselves better luck next time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 18, 2014 at 7:42 AM

  2. Lovely photo. I often wonder what causes a population of plants to peter out in one spot, perhaps, or perhaps not, to appear somewhere else.


    April 18, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    • With the colony of morels that we found a few years ago, even though we harvested many, we were careful to leave plenty behind to release spores. Nevertheless, I never saw a colony there again, although that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. The location is a place I visit a couple of times year, so colonies could well have appeared and disappeared there in my absence. The fact that this year we found a few not far from the original spot seems to show that morels are still viable in the area and that maybe all we need is the right conditions to being them out in force.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 18, 2014 at 8:20 AM

  3. We have three days ahead of temps in the 70s. That and recent rains might bring them up around here.

    Jim in IA

    April 18, 2014 at 7:35 AM

  4. I don’t think anything outshines morels as a spring treat. It’s a shame you couldn’t find a nice stand of them.

    As a side note, the only time I heard the word “mess” used in reference to food while I was growing up was in the expression “mess of morels.” After I left Iowa, I don’t remember hearing that phrase again until I got to the south and discovered there also could be a “mess of collards”, “a mess of greens”, and so on.

    The ability of a photograph to evoke other sensory experiences — like the taste of morels — is amazing.


    April 18, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    • It drizzled here yesterday and things are still damp today, so maybe those morels will reappear. I’ll try to remember to check the site next week.

      The word mess in the sense of ‘quantity of food’ came from the notion of putting food out on a table. The root is the same as in missile, which is an object put out into space. A table covered with all sorts of dishes and utensils and foods can easily become cluttered, hence the sense of mess as ‘an untidy assortment of things.’

      As for the taste of the photograph, happy synesthesia to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

  5. A feast for the eyes if not the stomach.


    April 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM

  6. Lovely. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    April 18, 2014 at 1:25 PM

  7. What a fascinating structure!

    Journey Photographic

    April 18, 2014 at 8:33 PM

  8. I love Michael Pollan’s story about mushroom gathering in his book “Omnivore’s Dilemma.” How fantastic that you were able to harvest this delicious mycelium fruit! Your photo, of course, is no less than superb.


    April 21, 2014 at 8:26 AM

  9. […] on the north side of Old Lampasas Trail on April 2. I’d gone back to see if any more morel mushrooms had materialized; they hadn’t, but the oak galls were at least as […]

  10. […] March 15th I went up near Old Lampasas Trail in northwest Austin to see if I could find any morel mushrooms in the place where so many had appeared a few years ago. I didn’t see a single one, but I […]

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