The Ottumwa Courier


May 25, 2013

More Morels Please!

Wild mushroom hunting is a rite of spring for many in this great land. While I’m not as dedicated a mushroom hunters as some, I agree that few things compare to the rush experienced when a cache of Morels suddenly pops into view.

As they’re picked, you can’t stop yourself from daydreaming about how delicious that next meal will be when served with a side of butter-fried Morels. Their flavor and wonderful texture is unmatched by any other thing, mushroom or otherwise.

As I write this, we are just about to enter the Morel season where I live. It has been a long, cold winter and conditions are now becoming favorable. What are favorable conditions? It’s when daytime high temperatures reach the 60s and stay relatively consistent; and evening low temperatures remain above 40 degrees.

After your region hits those temperatures, it’s time to go out searching for Morels (which are so coveted that they can fetch more than $20 per pound in markets!). An ideal location to investigate is along the edges of wooded south-facing hillsides. The reason for this is because prevailing winds typically deposit mushroom spores along those south-facing inclines.

IF you find such a hill... AND it has trees with a relatively open understory... AND many of those trees are elms, ash, aspens and oaks... AND several of those trees are dead and decaying... THEN you could be in Morel heaven! That is the ideal location to fill your bag with goodness.

If you’ve never harvested Morels before, I strongly encourage you to go online and get a quick education in fungus so you know what to look for. There are mushrooms like Half-Free Morels and False Morels that look a lot like the real thing — but aren’t. They can cause some intestinal discomfort if ingested. Once you know/see the difference, then Morel identification is pretty simple.

Text Only
  • 0802 OTT Sports Ottumwa Babe Ruth photo Ottumwa 14s clear opening MWP regional hurdle BOONVILLE, Missouri – Joey Mitchell came up with not one, but two bases-clearing doubles in his last two at-bats. After snapping a 3-3 tie in the fifth with his first three-run hit, Mitchell gave the Ottumwa 14-year-olds a big insurance hit to drive

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Sports Mason City Newman celebrates Walk-off win sends Newman Catholic back to 1A finals DES MOINES — Top-seeded Mason City Newman Catholic advanced to the state tournament finals with a walk-off 5-4 win over fourth-seeded Don Bosco in the first of two Class 1A semifinal games Thursday afternoon at Principal Park.Don Bosco scored two run

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Sports 2A State Baseball photo Fast start powers North Polk back into 2A Final DES MOINES — Top-seeded North Polk beat fifth-seeded and Heart of Iowa Conference rival Roland-Story 6-2 in the first Class 2A semifinal Thursday evening at Principal Park.The Comets scored all six runs in the first two innings, three each inning, en

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southeast Iowa Fishing Reports Rathbun ReservoirThe current lake level is 905.38 feet. The water temperature is 77 degrees. Channel Catfish - Fair: Try using chicken liver. Target areas in coves and bays. Walleye - Slow: Anglers have been having some success trolling crankbaits ar

    August 1, 2014

  • On Tap Saturday Prep Baseball Class 1A State Finals Twin Cedars vs. Newman Catholic at Des Moines (Principal Park), Noon

    August 1, 2014

  • 0802 OTT Sports IHCC Soccer Coach Doug Seigle mug IHCC Soccer Training Camp date set OTTUMWA– Head coach Doug Seigle has announced the date for players on this year's roster, and those who hope to make the squad, to report for the start of preseason workouts. Seigle says all IHCC women’s and men's soccer players who have signed to pl

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Sports RAGBRAI photo Native Ottumwa cyclist sets powerful example VACAVILLE, Calif. — Scott Pettengill has a passion for life and an indomitable optimism that refuses to be dimmed. Pettengill, a native Ottumwan who now lives in northern California, just finished riding the [Des Moines] Register's Annual Great Bicyc

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0801 OTT Sports Bryon Peyton photo Former Pekin coaches reunite at state tournament DES MOINES — For 15 years, Bryon Peyton and Jeff Eeling shared the dream of coaching together at the Iowa High School State Baseball Tournament. It certainly wasn’t the way they may have imagined it, but almost 30 years later, the dream came true. Pe

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0801 OTT Sports Hunter Embray photo Top-ranked Sabers headed to first state baseball final DES MOINES — Hits figured to be a very precious commodity Thursday in the 1A state baseball semifinal matchup between Gehlen Catholic and Twin Cedars. As such, each swing taken by each hitter figured to be very important in collecting precious contac

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0801 OTT Sports Andy Heintz column mug The White Bass that saved the day OTTUMWA — It was time for a break. It was a lovely, Sunday afternoon and I'd spent the past couple of hours tooling around town taking pictures for the newspaper. While it was nice to be outside, I yearned to make the not-so-subtle switch from work

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

Sports photo reprints