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McDowell County Morel Foray

Date: April 12, 2018
Leader: Dan Manning

On a beautiful spring day with daytime temperatures in the high sixties to low seventies (sandwiched between periods of much harsher winter-like weather), twenty members gathered to assess some new areas for suitability for future AMC morel foray locations. We met at River Ridge Market Place and split up into three separate groups, each traveling independently to one of three pre-selected areas. After searching for around 2.5 hours we all met up at the Old Fort Picnic Area (USFS).

The three areas are at lower-elevations (~1700’ to 2200’) on National Forest lands (Grandfather RD, Pisgah NF) in western McDowell County, NC.

Area A: Dan Manning, “Where Can They Be?” Leader:  Enjoyed our time afield, but found no morels.

Area B: Janet Manning, “The Mycelia Are There!”  Leader: Had a good time and found barely enough (one beautiful  Yellow Morel, Morchella americana or esculentoides) to conclude that “the mycelia are there”. Not willing to write this area off yet. It just looks too good! Sites with good moisture and a lot of tulip-poplars and/or sycamores with spicebush underneath, some ash – but few fruiting morels at the time of this foray.

Area C: Laurie Jaegers, Highly Successful “We found ‘em!” Leader: What?!?!  More than thirty morels!!!!  --  Exulted in their time afield and hit the bonanza! Yes, this group arrived at the Old Fort Picnic Area and came parading in with their bounteous booty in hand. Shameless show-offs! – Their morels (32 to be exact) were beautiful -- Morchella americana and Morchella diminutiva, as identified by Laurie -- and they let us look at them. Congratulations folks!

(Timing is important. Area C seemed quite promising, but no morels were seen during a scouting trip eleven days before the foray. -- D. Manning)

Thanks to Laurie Jaegers for identifying the following species that were also collected:

  • Schizophyllum commune – Common Split Gill
  • Phellinus robiniae – Black Locust Polypore
  • Coprinellus micaceus (Coprinus micaceous) – Mica Cap
  • Cerioporus squamosus (Polyporus squamosus) – Dryad’s Saddle or Pheasant’s Back Polypore
  • Trametes versicolor – Turkey-tail
  • Trichaptum biforme—Violet Toothed Polypore
  • Stereum ostrea – False Turkey Tail
  • Stereum complicatum – Crowded Parchment
  • Peziza phyllogena (P. badioconfusa) – Common Brown Cup
  • Pluteus cervinus – Deer Mushroom