Hello AMS members!
The 2017 morel season has started a little more slowly than in recent years, but it is here at last.
(Photo by Brian Marshall)
A few yellow morels were found in the Verde Valley in late March and early April, but definitely not enough for a full scale AMS foray. Likewise, several parties have found the brownish cypress morels in the red rock country around Sedona in the past three weeks, but too widely scattered for successful group forays.
(Photo by Mike Dechter)
As usual, the black fire morels are what we will be targeting as a group. Some of our local fires are now in their 4th fruiting since the famous flush of Fall 2014. As expected, the productivity of the older fires is waning, and the rains have not been very cooperative over the last few weeks. However, the snow in the high country was pretty heavy over the winter, and this week and last week some people have been finding up to five pounds of morels per day on the old Slide Fire with plenty of walking.
(Photo by Brian Marshall)
We will be going out as a group for the first time this year next Sunday, April 23. It looks like the small flush on the Slide Fire is coming to an end, but there are approximately half a dozen recent fires between Flagstaff, Mormon Lake and the Mogollon Rim that are higher and hopefully wetter and cooler, so we will be choosing those that our scouts indicate are showing the best prospects. Some of the roads are in bad shape, and there may be places where ordinary passenger cars have difficulty. Try to bring a truck or SUV, or at least not a low-slung Cadillac or Prius!
Primary members of the AMS may register other members of their family/household membership as "guests." This does not mean that non-member guests may be brought on the foray. All AMS forays require participants to be either adult members who have signed our Liability Waiver, or the minor children of members who have signed the waiver on their behalf.
If you are bringing your minor children, you must list them by name on your member profile after you have logged in, and accept the terms of the waiver.
As always, it is possible that no morels or few morels will be found, and you must be prepared for this possible disappointment. Do not expect the mushrooms to be as abundant as they have been the past three years. To make up for this possibility, foray chairman Mike Dechter is going to instruct us about foraging the many other plants of this area as the opportunity arises.
It is also possible that high winds, significant snowfall, flooding, thunderstorms, or other unforeseen circumstances may require a foray to be cancelled or brought to an early end. At this point, the forecast calls for warm sunny weather, but you will be notified by a pre-foray email that will go out Saturday afternoon if this changes.
The registration system will open at 7:00 p.m. sharp on Friday, April 21. The number of participants is limited to 50 (2 parties of 25) by Forest Service regulations. Please don't ask for exceptions to this rule, as we are trying to protect our access to this wonderful national resource by complying with their very reasonable requirements.
If you miss out, don't worry, it is VERY likely that there will be additional forays in the coming weeks.
FORAY DATE: 4/23/2017
FORAY DESTINATION: Flagstaff/Mormon Lake/Long Valley area
Mustang Service Station, Long Valley (near the junction of the Lake Mary Road with Route 87 at Clint's Well.)
9:00 AM Sunday 4/23/2017
Ross & Kathy Babcock
FORAY MYCOLOGIST: No official mycologist, pick & eat at your own risk.
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: No more than 25 per foraging party, 50 total.
MYCOLOGY SKILL LEVEL: All levels.
Beginners should learn how to tell the difference between true and false morels.
THEME: Harvest of familiar edibles for the table; minimal instruction.
PHYSICAL FITNESS LEVEL: Moderate. You should be able to walk 2 miles on slopes of up to 20 percent at 7000 feet elevation. You can request to be placed in either the more athletic group or the more leisurely group when you register.
VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS: High clearance recommended. The foray captain reserves the right to disallow unsuitable vehicles and assign passengers to other vehicles. Remember to fill your tank as we may be driving a good distance.
RIDE-SHARING/CHAT FORUM: Meet-Up Forum
EXPECTED WEATHER: Dry and sunny.
OTHER INFO: This is a burn site. Your clothing, equipment, and vehicle may get filthy dirty with soot, charcoal, and mud. Minimum recommended equipment is a basket, knife, compass, and whistle.