East Central Iowa

Discussion in 'Iowa' started by pshycedelicshroomer, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. shroomhawk

    shroomhawk Morel Enthusiast

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    Nice find on the jumbos. Strange season. I have 70 acres and the ONLY place they grew was in the NE quadrant. Same terrain, soil, moisture, etc. Makes no sense, but still had a great season. I am dusting them in flour, freezing and bagging them. Never done it before so I hope it works out. Good luck up north.
     
  2. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    It sure has been strange--but excellent in spite of it. Nature pulled out all the stops and threw everything at us, condition-wise, and made it interesting and challenging. I learned a lot this season (my 50th). I'll never learn enough.

    It sounds like you're doing exactly what I do for freezing. The challenge with doing it this way lies in the cooking--getting the butter hot, feeding the skillet, a few at a time, and maintaining an optimal cooking temp. If you can master that you're in. Can't tell the difference between frozen and fresh. Fun Gus cooks his about 90% then bags them. I'm trying a bag like that too, so we'll see how it goes (this winter).

    I'm starting to feel "seasonal affective disorder," locally, at least. For several years at season's end I count down...it's agony. This year I might have to chase 'em for therapy. But I'm conflicted; some people are occupied negotiating regional peace to ensure world stability, etc., etc. And in the midst of these noble efforts I'm chasing mushrooms???

    Cognitive dissonance wracks my mind...but my soul says "Go shrooming."

    I'm listening to my soul.

     

  3. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    I'm with ya on the cognitive dissonance, Shroom God. Tough to see the season move north like some heliotropic plague.
     
  4. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Feelin' the pain, hey? I wonder if I head to MN or WI if I'll feel like an unworthy scavenger or interloper. Or will my Jeep be burnt b/c I have IOWA plates, or some such thing like happens on that ginseng show on the Discovery channel. Anyway, SWI Shroomer I'd rather cast my lot with WI than MN. You in Grant County or thereabouts? I grew up about 50 miles SW of there.
     
  5. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    SG, are you a professional writer by any chance? I live in Council Bluffs but hunt south of here in Page County. I found my first morel east of Glenwood in Mills County in '67 or '68, and I drive past those woods on the way to my spot. All these years later, I think I could walk to within 50 feet of where I found my first morel in those woods in the long ago. Speaking of "alien" plates -- I was confronted once in an Iowa county on public ground by a couple of mushroom hunters who looked at my plates and asked (sort of aggressively, I thought) why I had to hunt morels so far from home. Definitely an atypical outlier type experience as I'm pretty sure 99.9 percent of mushroom hunters wouldn't act this way but it was kind of scary.
     
  6. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    Ginseng is an interesting thing on a lot of levels. Read quite a bit about it a few months ago, inspired by the show on History Channel. Foxfire is another interesting thing in the wild plant world. Oh boy. I'm only interested in morels as far as hunting goes, though.
     
  7. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    SWI, I've also experienced the hostility you speak of. Like you, I tend to range over quite a distance. Usually, everything is fine. However, after a grueling contest with a multiflora rose-ridden tract of woods a few years ago, I returned with bloodied arms to find a menacing note beneath my wiper: "Keep ass in own county." Similarly, encountering other shroomers in the woods can sometimes evoke some tension. Territorialism may creep in; sometimes a few words are spoken; certainly furtive glances at each other's sack are exchanged, and a momentary sense of inferiority washes over the one with the smaller sack; that feeling wanes as the distance bewteen hunters grows. I suspect all of this is rooted in human instinct when engaged in a comptetive search for eeking something that is typically in limited supply and, in this case, available for only a short while. Imagine what such encounters must have been like among the first disparate bands of humans to make their way into Iowa 12,000 years ago--or more recently, what it must have felt like during the California Gold Rush! The feelings and emotions associated with these experiences are part of the drama that makes this so fun.
     
  8. fun gus

    fun gus Morel Connoisseur

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    I have a public area near Des Moines i found about 1980. It was me and an older guy. A little draw and a field leads to a large tract no one else went to. It was good for the two of us to have a killing. He's about 75-80 now and told his grandson who must of posted gps coordinates on Facebook because it has been over run with 20 something beer drinkers littering and killing me the last three years. I used to get 25+# but for the last few years about 5-10. I hope to see the old guy to tell him but what do you do?
     
  9. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    I hear ya. There's definitely increasing pressure on public lands, and a good part of it is detrimental. As expected, it's particularly bad in high-density areas contiguous with urban settings. In some places, foot traffic is so heavy that the vegetation is utterly destroyed; only bare dirt remains. Ideally, the state should acquire more land to mitigate the pressures of excessive public use in such areas, but rising commercial values of property make that difficult.

    Another issue lies in the actual management philosophy of rangers. At one county park--known as a morel haven--the residential ranger retired after 35 years. His replacement came in and <strong>promptly </strong>destroyed many acres of prime mushroom ground, bulldozing and cutting and sawing like mad with little regard for habitat preservation. This was done in the name of "park improvement." 5-10 years ago I'd routinely pull 20 pounds out of there. There's hardly anything now. This year I didn't even bother going.
     
  10. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

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    Good stuff, fun gus and shroom god. Really enjoy reading your stories and insights.
     
  11. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

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    Backatcha SWI Shroomer. I feel blessed to have been a part of such a vibrant online community. I've learned much through the experiences you've shared about SW Iowa and the bottoms. I need to experience a cottonwood haul. It's been 40 years since that happened for me. In mere days the season will pass, although the advent of summer will not overshadow the high life of which we all drank so deeply. Bittersweet now, I'll be back next year and look forward to reconnecting with this great group of nature lovers.