Yellow morels arrive in this weird spring for hunting morel mushrooms

Signs are that we are in a compact season for picking morel mushrooms in this weird spring around Chicago outdoors.

SHARE Yellow morels arrive in this weird spring for hunting morel mushrooms
Ryan Leonard gave a perfect example of day-stamping morel finds.

Ryan Leonard gave a perfect example of day-stamping morel finds.

Provided

Chad Hrechko and son Reed had only found 10 morel mushrooms Thursday evening in Grundy County ... at first.

Times are changing for morel hunting around Chicago.

“As we were making our way through one last ravine, we stumbled upon a pile of nearly 40 big yellows!” he messaged.

Scratched my head about Reed’s shirt, considering his dad is a Cubs guy.

Reed Hrechko found big yellow morel mushrooms last week. Provided

Reed Hrechko found big yellow morel mushrooms last week.

Provided

Should’ve asked for a food photo when he messaged that “the juicy plump yellows . . . were awesome tonight with a fresh rib-eye steak on the grill.”

Yellows typically are found late season.

On Sunday, Ryan Leonard, who had the first Morel of the Week this spring, emailed, “This 80-degree day brought out the big yellows. I do like the smaller grey morels but I can’t complain about these. I found them in Des Plaines on a morning walk.”

He did an artful day stamp photo with the paper Sun-Times (at the very top).

Lloyd Sigman emailed another well-done photo of morels with a plate on Sunday after finding his first in Illinois.

Lloyd Sigman gave a different take on photographing morels. Provided photo

Lloyd Sigman gave a different take on photographing morels.

Provided

Morels make up for lost time in this weird spring.

On Sunday, Austan Goolsbee, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, tweeted Sunday, “You were right about morels popping this week. We hit it big in Hyde Park.”

They had a couple dozen.

Austan Goolsbee found a trove of morels in Hyde Park. Provided photo

Austan Goolsbee found a trove of morels in Hyde Park.

Provided

Jay Damm, one of the area’s most astute mushroom hunters, emailed Wednesday, “We’re fast approaching mid-season and there are indeed morels to be had in northern Illinois, but as I say, they’re not going to jump in the basket, you have to work for ‘em.”

He gave this straightforward advice, “The best patch was found under a cluster of dead elm trees at the base of a southern-facing slope with partial shade.”

On Friday, he updated, “An indicator as to where we are in the season were the two fresh half-free morels that I found. Those are typically found in the first half of the season, so we have a couple weeks yet. Hopefully the weather forecasters are correct and we’ll have multiple chances for thunderstorms this weekend.”

The storms came. Warmth builds this week.

Remember, morel hunting is prohibited at area forest preserves, park districts and dedicated nature preserves. It is allowed at many IDNR sites (state parks, etc.), but restricted until after 1 p.m. at sites with spring turkey hunting (which ends Thursday in the north zone).

Wild things

Many readers reported their first Baltimore orioles in the last week-plus. I am still waiting. Same for hummingbirds. Maybe I am not paying attention.

Stray Cast

Can’t decide if the Sox have righted their raft or are about to shoot Wildcat Falls.

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