“What will the rains and snows (we have been getting
through the winter and spring) do for this spring’s morel crop?”
This is a very interesting question. We have been
getting it for some time.
Actually, with the knowledge we have at hand on
the mycological kingdom, it is very difficult to hazard a buttoned-down
opinion on this issue. Many weather factors must be considered.
In the first place, wind tends to dry out the
forest floor very quickly. On the other hand, I have many times raked back
the humus when it was very dry to find black earth quite moist (suitable
for mycelium--the stage from which morels occur). Mycelium is a simple
“root system” that is often found between humus and the surface of the
soil. In reality, the soil and humus are separated by a very fine line--maybe
one and the same.
However that may go, mushrooms can “fruit” (occur--they
say they don’t grow, but they do) if temperature and moisture are right.
For the record, I have experimented with the growth thing many times, and
have found that morels do grow. Once I found a one-inch black and simply
marked it’s location in my mind. It was four inches larger 10 days later.
So a dry forest floor does not, necessarily stifle
development of morels. Still, when coupled with other conditions, it can.
In other words, I think fruiting of morels requires other favorable conditions.
We think of moisture and temperature, but there may be other factors in
the morel scheme of nature.
The earth is well saturated now, but the humus
still I drying very quickly. The question revolves around the moisture
in the earth immediately below the humus. They could spring up in the next
few days if all conditions merge.
noted elsewhere on my web page (http://bayoubill.com ), Bill
James, chief of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Section
for many years, has been appointed by President Bush to the Great Lakes
Commission, an action that speaks loudly for Bill’s work and dedication
to our state.
Bill likes to fish for bluegill. I am very proud
to know that he does this with a little antique Heddon Black Beauty flyrod
that once nailed bluegill and native brook trout for me.
little white snow flowers still is leading the spring parade, but Harbinger-of
Spring will be popping their little clusters soon to launch another season
of spring beauty and all of the others that follow. The flower of
the harbinger is so small that it also is know as salt and pepper and vice-versa.
. . . some of the bulbs and roots they produce are edible.
those who use the "Water Watch"
feature of my website (http://bayoubill.com) to keep informed on stream
and reservoir levels know, staying current has been a big problem because
of time limitations.
Now, however, you can get current levels of streams
with a mere click on the "Water Watch" web page that brings data directly
from the U.S. Geological Survey, and information on the level of many reservoirs
from the Louisville Office of the Army Corps of Engineers. The two sources
are a great aid to anglers and others.