This is the absolute truth.
I was out weeding in the garden on Saturday and discovered a morel mushroom growing near the base of…
… I just remembered a good morel mushroom hunter never reveals the exact location where they find mushrooms.
I’m not a good morel mushroom hunger.
I’m going to tell you all where I found this one because I trust you not to go tromping through my garden looking for more morel mushrooms.
And I’m open to theories about how this came to be in my garden.
The morel is a few feet from the base of a serviceberry tree. I believe those little stubs you see at the base are actually from a mulberry tree seedling that I cut off last year. As you can see, there are oak leaves in the area, blown in from a tree in a neighbor’s yard.
Also, a critter of some kind has been living in the area. The ground around the nearest tree is a bit bare and looks like something has been digging there, possibly chipmunks? Not far from this spot is a path that I’ve covered in wood chips and shavings from my brother-in-law who carves wooden bowls and vases. He gets his wood from anyone who donates an interesting piece.
About 12 years ago, I dug up some woodland flowers from a wooded area that was going to be dammed up to create a lake and what is left includes mostly mayapples and jack-in-the-pulpits. That spot is 10 or more feet from the morel mushroom.
The nearest woods is behind the neighbors’ houses across the street, and probably at least 500 or more feet from this spot. To my knowledge, no one has ever found morel mushrooms in those woods, which contain a large utility easement so they are far from undisturbed. (Or my neighbors are good hunters and they aren’t going to say if there are morels back there. Though they did say I was welcome to go mushroom hunting there anytime.)
Back in my garden… as far as I know, there is just this one morel mushroom.
Any theories as to how I ended up with this morel mushroom in my garden?
I remember that my dad tried to grow morel mushrooms in our backyard but was never successful. Now, a quick online search makes it seem like the easiest thing in the world to do, which we know it isn’t quite that, but it isn’t impossible.
Anyway, one thing morel mushrooms don’t like is hot weather. After having our first 70F day on Friday, April 22nd—the latest 70F day of spring since 1984, they say—we had temps in the 80s on Saturday and Sunday. So by Sunday morning, when I checked on my morel, it was dry and hard.
What did I do with my one morel mushroom? I left it so that it can shed spores and maybe next year there will be more morel mushrooms. Or maybe there won’t be.
Regardless, it was a surprise and a treat to find this one on Saturday.
Now, how did it get there?