Morels Are Here in Northern Illinois at Last


With the late spring, the morel season is late too. The little grey morels startingpopping about a week ago. They are the first to come up, and the hardest to find. But I look at it as “warming up” for the yellows. If you can find a one inch little grey mushroom on the forest floor, then you should have no problem finding the big 3 to 6-inch yellow morels when they start coming up, which is any day now. We just started finding some yellows a couple days ago. They are bigger than the little grey morels, and a lot easier to spot.

Rachel Stefanich scours a creek bed for another morel. She’s a little morel-finding-machine.

But for primo morel conditions, we need some rain. I know it was a long winter and we all are enjoying the warm sunny days, but morels like moisture and warmth. The temperatures are right, so if mother nature will just give us a little precipitation, the morels should explode this weekend. I hope.

For now, everyone I know is finding most of them in low swampy
areas, wetlands, or along creeks or rivers. So concentrate your efforts in those areas.

But morels can pop up just about anywhere, which is what makes them so unique and unpredictable.

Other tips for finding morels:
– if you find one, crouch down and look around you in all directions. Where there is one, there are usually more.
– if you’re finding morels, turn around and backtrack from time to time. By looking from a different angle, you will see the ones that may have been hidden on your first pass. Trust me, it works.
– there is a reason that short old men and little kids make great mushroom hunters— they are close to the ground and move slow. Even if you’re not short, walk slow and look carefully.

See if you can spot the morel in this photo:

If mother nature and a little luck are on your side, check out some great recipes here.


See if you can spot the little grey morel in this photo. Good luck…


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