How to Train Your Eye to Find Morel Mushrooms
Morels are truly a spring delicacy. They exist all over the northern U.S. and can be found anywhere from orchards to alpine forests, but out west we’ve usually harvested them from April-June in forests that burned in recent years. They’re super fun to hunt for but they can also be very hard to find. You can do all the right research and pick out the perfect area on a map just to walk right past the mushrooms. They can be very hard to spot for a beginner, and even a trained eye can miss them easily. The more you find , the easier they become to spot and once you find one you’re likely to find a lot more.
For a beginner, we highly recommend bringing a few photos of them on your first outing. Don’t forget to take a look at our other post about mushroom hunting essentials for some great books and tools to bring along. Keep looking at the photos occasionally to help train your eye and increase your chances of finding them.
Since the season is coming up, we thought it would be fun and helpful to post a bunch of photos of to help train your eye. One thing we try to do when we are out in the field is to look both nearby, like right under our feet, and to also look out further away for any obvious mushroom shapes.
Here are a couple of close-up photos to get your eyes warmed up:
As you can see, there are many different shades, colors, and sizes, some of which are easier to spot. It’s more of a shape/texture that you’ll learn to look for. Sometimes they’re super hard to see, but other times they can stick our like a sore thumb just asking to be picked!
Scroll down and try to find the mushrooms in each photo. After each photo I will provide a “key” with blue circles around the morels (or at least most of them, maybe I missed some!)
Just kidding, those are pine cones.
We hope this was helpful. If you want more information about finding morels, or about the safety of picking morels, check out these articles: