A perfect storm is brewing, foragers. Rain has fallen down upon our parched soils, and a slow moving cold front will push into the region Friday night. This means additional showers, just as daytime highs drop from the 80’s to the lower 60’s. This means morels.
Just as our last hopes of 2013 morels were shriveling in the blazing and relentless sun, we have found redemption in a cold front. As I hiked in the rain this afternoon, the forest felt fresh and alive. The deciduous canopy is rapidly filling in, but the upland Vermont ramps are thriving as they feast on the last sunlight of the season. As the canopy closes, the ramps send energy down from the leaves into the swollen bulbs.
Meanwhile, the fiddleheads are unfurling and nettles are shooting up in sunny patches of woodlands and edges of fields. First reports of local king stropharias are in. To top it off, today I stumbled upon a spectacular collection of mature elderberry bushes lining the sunny margins of a snowmobile trail. To my delight, several of the bushes were already in full bloom, their subtle but intoxicating fragrance wafting into the moist air.
My basket is brimming, but something is missing. Tomorrow, the true hunt begins.