Our lifestyle involves a good deal of suspense, in large and small portions. Lately, we’ve been waiting to see if we would get any more morel mushrooms in our main rhubarb patch.
Last year in May we were astounded when a single morel appeared among the rhubarb shoots (see Miracle Morel). I still can’t believe that one of the world’s most delectable and sought after mushroom varieties would pop up in such an unexpected and convenient location. We anxiously awaited a reappearance this year.
Morels aren’t easy to see. They look a lot like dark spruce cones and/or clots of dried bladderwrack seaweed. We have more than enough of both of these in the yard. Cones rain down from the trees above, and we use the seaweed to fertilize the rhubarb. Any search for morels on this terrain involves a lot of false positives.
Last Friday, I walked past the rhubarb patch, and found a little morel, freshly popped out of the ground on the planting’s edge.
We are thrilled! True, it is only a single mushroom, once again . . . so far. Still, this is portentious. It shows that the mycilium is viable. It also shows that it covers, at a minimum, an area of roughly 3 square feet, assuming based on the distance from where the first one appeared, and the current one.
We have a pile of plastic rings cut from old 5-gallon buckets that we use to protect plants from voles. I placed a bright blue one around the mushroom, to make sure we don’t trample it by accident. Now, the suspense continues as we wait for it to grow.
Meanwhile, we’re scanning the ground around it to see if any more might appear.