Iowa 2019 Season

Discussion in 'Iowa' started by tommyjosh, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. shroomdawg

    shroomdawg Morel Connoisseur

    189
    189
    43
    There’s quite a bit of black dirt in them hills. The valleys have a layer of black dirt from years of decaying leaf litter, tough walking but it can be off da hook good. On top of the ridges it’s pretty much the sandy loess soil. I don’t usually find a lot on the ridges but on good years (a lot of rain and warm temperatures) you can find certain trees on the upper ridges putting of good numbers.
     
  2. greys

    greys Morel Enthusiast

    59
    86
    18
    I seen the forecast last night and thought, Poor Shroom god, Looks like snow up your way? Suppose to hit freezing tomorrow night/ sunday morning. Things sure are weird this year, Far and few in between, over 30 hours hunting now.
     
    1 person likes this.

  3. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

    822
    836
    93
    I was born, raised and still live in the Loess Hills. They basically run from about KC north to almost Sioux Falls. The largest areas being in Iowa. Advice I would give to anyone who has not hunted them is this. Don't waste a lot of time climbing up and down them or you will wear yourself out. Stick to the bottom edges of draws, if you do go to the top, stay there and work the edges of the old farm fields many have. In the years of the big elm die offs they were killer and some spots still have good numbers. Check the ash also, they often produce in the hills. I worry this year is to dry to do well. SG, my grandfather called the soil "sugar clay" because it erodes so bad. You are right it is a wind blown vertisoil sediment, many of the bluffs are shaped like a sand dune if you just take the trees off. The odd shapes provide a variety of slopes and elevations. You would like it.
     
    4 people like this.
  4. Carl

    Carl Morel Enthusiast

    13
    2
    3
    Rained pretty good there last night I seen too.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. shroomdawg

    shroomdawg Morel Connoisseur

    189
    189
    43

    I've often wondered about the wind blown theory, it seems strange that the deposits only went across the flood plain. I often wondered if the loess soil was deposited from glaciers grinding the sedimentary rock as they moved and pushing that fine sugar dirt out to the edges of the moving glaciers like a giant dozer. It's a little mysterious and magical up in them hills, a unique ecosystem found nowhere else in the world. There is some similar deposits in China, or so I've heard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    1 person likes this.
  6. SEIowacker

    SEIowacker Morel Enthusiast

    31
    69
    18
    Yep one really never knows to you get out there in the woods.Years ago i went to Lake Darling to see if the fish were biting,the shrooms were just starting with a few grays.On the way driving the lake road a woman and two young kids came out of the woods with three bags of what looked like nice yellow morels.I bet my jaw about hit the stearing wheel.
    They say the shrooms move north at about 200 miles a week but i think its more like a 100 or less.Right know by checking whats going on south of us the yellow flush is getting close to the Iowa border.Most years the guys in border countys are finding yellow almost a full week before i get into them.
    This rain were getting might help them shrooms so an old boy like me might be able to see em.Over all i think its a tad bit on the early side for the yellow flush but rain has a way of speeding things up if it comes at the right time.Cant hurt i reckon.
    Good luck to ya and keep us posted :)
     
  7. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

    822
    836
    93
    Dawg, what we short lived humans forget is that geologic stuff covers thousands or millions of years. Actually the stuff covers a lot of W.Mo and W. Iowa its just that it piled up more in a certain place for reasons I don't think anyone knows for sure. I like to say the hills separate the back porch hunters from the addicted variety. A day of sweating in those babies and not finding anything usually puts them back on the porch.
     
    5 people like this.
  8. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43
    This is some seriously WACKY weather. After I got back from the woods I made a pot of chili. Mid-afternoon I got a text from a friend in Jones County...it was sleeting. My thoughts turn to farmers, and those within my own family. The farm economy is imperiled as it is, and this frost will compromise the emerging corn. Accumulating snow is a deal-breaker. Calves born this weekend may not see Monday.

    It was also a hellish day, shrooming-wise, but could have been worse. Tortured by a cold drizzle over the course of over 4 hours and at least 5 meandering miles, eyes straining intermittently to see the ground beneath darkened skies, and soaked to the bone, I found only 96. I hope others dove in today in spite of the conditions and had better luck.

    At some point I will need to change my approach to this thing, or someday the growing community of bleached bones of deer and unknown creatures that litter the deep woods where even the ticks refuse to go will be joined by my own. Time and age will most certainly impose constraints one day. The distances and physical demands of the terrain to which I am drawn will prove impossible. Limitations will prevail, right? Perhaps not.

    I feel beaten literally to hell and run through the wringer on top of it. As I sit here chilled and aching, I'm impelled to reflect upon my first forays as a child in the early-to-mid 1960s... tumbling out of the car...racing my younger sister down one side and up the other of the steep, deep ditch...bursting into the woods...speeding to a tree and, within seconds, picking. Aside from “Don’t make SO much racket!”, our only instruction was to “Look under the BIG, BIG trees.” Of course, the biggest trees were the expansive, century-old elms succumbing to Dutch elm disease, and too numerous to count. Their peeling bark exposed massive, white arms twisting to the sky as if desperately seeking help from the Great Elm in the Sky. Mushrooms were so plentiful that even a 5 year-old rookie could top off a sack with huge yellows in a mere few minutes.

    Today, I certainly could have used a “fill-a-few-sacks-on-the-edge-of-the-woods” moment. It is
    a measure of time's cruelty that the older I get, the farther I must walk, and harder it is to find these things…not only are they scarcer, but my vision is also going to hell!

    In the next few days I’ll split, wash, spin, lightly flour, lay on wax paper, and fast freeze these. On Christmas morning when my daughters, sons-in-law, and grand kids gather and devour in minutes what took hours to procure, I wonder if any among them will note that this batch tastes a just slightly better than most? If so, they will have passed the test, and I will take them to my secret spot in the deep woods in 2020.

    4-27-19 Shrooms.jpg
     
  9. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43

    Was not a happy camper this morning. After completing the rite of weather brooding, I got my head together, threw on my gear and headed out in the drizzle. Certainly not ideal, but a person can't waste a day because of it. On balance I'd totally rather have this cold drizzle than a dry, hot wind.
     
    3 people like this.
  10. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43
    The depositional theory is also applied to the dunes around Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, NC, the largest dunes on the Atlantic Coast. Quite an amazing place. Regarding Iowa's glacial past, have you ever read about the Little Sioux Valley and the glacial lake that once broke above Peterson, Iowa? Relative to its surroundings, that's some bizarre country up there! I used to have decent luck shrooming in the state park outside Peterson when I lived up in NW Iowa. Iowa's geological past has certainly left the state with amazing geography. It's no wonder shrooming is in our blood, right?
     
    2 people like this.
  11. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43
    Hey SE, the yellows just started in southern Johnson County. :D
     
  12. bloomer

    bloomer Morel Enthusiast

    22
    37
    13
    7DD06B87-4330-48E6-8B17-A3F813DD3998.jpeg D98EF48B-4CFC-46EB-B4A1-49535F206532.jpeg Went back to a spot east of Des Moines today, two days after I picked some and left a bunch more.
    All that I left were larger this time but not by a lot. Not enough warmth over that span I suppose.
    But...161 little greys later, I’m feeling pretty good about it nonetheless.
    Not much to look forward to with the weather either over the next couple days. Might be late next week till the next forage.
     
  13. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

    822
    836
    93
    SG, those are the days when you earn em. Nice tight gilled greys there. At least a person can get some gear now that can keep a person warm and mostly dry. I used to tape plastic bags over my feet and stuff them in old GI boots when it was cold and wet. Feet would sweat but stayed warm. Many of the shrooms down here stopped growing due to the hot and dry.
     
    3 people like this.
  14. kb

    kb Morel Connoisseur

    822
    836
    93
    Kind of like the ones you picked there bloomer. they stopped growing due to lack of moisture and the gills expanded.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. swi shroomer

    swi shroomer Morel Connoisseur

    144
    34
    28
    In addition to living in them, I have spent a lot of time surveying in these Loess Hills and it is no fun, no fun at all. At 57, I can still get up and down them all right I suppose but I don’t like hunting morels in the Loess any longer, preferring less elevation change in my hunts. People in good years can find a lot of morels within the city limits of Council Bluffs, for what it’s worth. Just not my bag.

    I can still recall the magic moment I picked my first morel east of Glenwood in 1968 or so on a gentle slope amongst the giant elms that were dying in such huge numbers at that time as SG wrote so beautifully about above.

    Brutal weather day here in western Iowa. I played golf at 10 in a short sleeve shirt and ended up in layers of clothing and my stocking cap by the time we finished at 2:30. Temps went from about 60 to 40. Blah. I had intentions of hitting some early shroom areas on my way home, but the combination of the crazy winds, biting cold and a worn-down body convinced me to delay the hunt until Sunday afternoon.

    Love reading the posts here. Good luck all, as always.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    2 people like this.
  16. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43
    They should taste better because of it. I'm SW of Iowa City, about 15 miles south of I-80. We had hot wind and quarter-inch cracks in the ground here last weekend. While contemplating local shroomageddon--BOOM--it all changed overnight with a little rain and cool down. The past 3-4 days have been fairly ideal, and next week looks good, although a bit on the cooler side. That should preserve them and they'll mature. North of 80 is markedly slower but should be on by next weekend. Meanwhile, friends to my south along the Des Moines River are nearly striking out. Hope this rain rescues the season for then and for you in SW Iowa, kb.
     
  17. greys

    greys Morel Enthusiast

    59
    86
    18
    For a hunter of many area's, Today's weather is exactly what I wanted, with reguards to the cooler air and rain keeping others out of the woods. Plastic bags over the legs, walmart sacks for the feet, always double sacks up on the feet! I picked everything i had left growing and stumbled upon 2 new honey holes. One had 40 or so very nice greys! The second is one of the biggest elm's i have seen in all my years of hunting, that is dying/ in the right stages of the process at least. I have major hopes for this second hole as it is just about 300 yards from a tree, on the same hill, that i found 12.5 lbs on in 2.5 hours in 2015. Unfortunately i had to pick what remained as I suspect anything that has popped up to this point will get burnt on top from the freeze. All I know at this point, at least for me with the temps dropping this far, im in uncharted territory, but will learn a lot from this year! Cheers~
     
    3 people like this.
  18. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43
    Very well done, bloomer. That's a fine haul. Hope you get out soon and keep us posted how it goes.
     
  19. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43
    SWI, 59 here, so I can relate to the preference for gently rolling upland hardwood timber. This place I've gone to this week is more rugged, laced with a profusion of springs. As if that weren't challenging enough, multiflora thrive. It's truly a "morel haven," as few will venture into it. Your description mirrors what happened here this afternoon. It's been misting, drizzling an blowing all day here though. Definitely not a golfing day! Those elms in the 1960s sure were something.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. shroom god

    shroom god Morel Connoisseur

    307
    246
    43
    Greys, the mycelium blanket beneath that elm must be vast and long-established. Sure would be awesome if it produces some of those massive shrooms. I've encountered such a thing only 3 times, and twice it was associated with ginormous elms in the throes of death, hosting equally majestic shrooms 6 to 8, and even a few 10 inches tall! I'm uncertain what phylospecies those giants are, but a person doesn't forget something like that! Good luck with it.
     
    3 people like this.