Morel mushrooms began to pop out of the ground in the past week up north. So far, they’re slow and few due to lack of rain. Soaking rain in the southern part of Michigan hasn’t made it here at all. That’s keeping the morels from coming up the way we like. It’s also making Northern Michigan dangerously high for fire danger. Campfires or burning of any kind are banned. The Up North Progressive’s success so far has been so-so. Dry forests don’t encourage mushrooms to fruit.
Mother’s Day weekend means it’s time for the Mesick Mushroom Festival. Beginning today and through the weekend, people come to Mesick to hunt for morels. There are many other activities happening beginning Friday evening through Sunday morning including concerts, mushroom hunting contests, sporting events, and concerts.
What kind of morels are people in Mesick finding this weekend? Here we find black morels. They come up a little earlier than the white or yellow morels, and they’re smaller. They’re also harder to find, so starting with these mushrooms makes it easier to find the white ones later. White morels can be found as late as early June. Memorial Day weekend is a good time to go looking for them. There is a third morel called half-free that the Up North Progressive has only found in Kalamazoo. If you want to hunt for white morels in Kalamazoo, Blanche Hull Nature Preserve usually has good hunting.
Where to find them depends on whether you have a known location to hunt them every year. Scouting out new areas can be fun, but you’re not guaranteed to always find them. Morel locations are closely guarded secrets.
The weekend forecast for Northern Michigan promises a chance of rain and thunderstorms. Mushroom hunting for morels will depend on how much rain we get. Depending on whether it rains or not could make it a lean weekend for morel hunters. Good luck!