Morel mushroom hunters are holding out hope for finding the springtime delicacies, even after Iowa’s weather has fluctuated from summertime temperatures to winter-like snow within days.
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A few counties in southern Iowa reported finding tiny morels or “micro-minis” as early as April 12, when the state experienced record or near-record high temperatures in the 80s.
That string of summerlike weather was followed by plummeting temperatures and even snow in some parts of Iowa, with lingering cold.
Facebook pages are now showing a steady progression north of the spongelike mushrooms, including the Iowa Morel Report, where nearly 30 counties have confirmed finds as of April 20, as far north as Tama, Linn and Jones counties in east central Iowa.
Morels need sufficient moisture and soil temperatures to “pop,” so with plenty of rain, at least in most parts of Iowa, the season could be kicking into high gear, even as more winterlike weather might hit the state this weekend.
The elusive delicacies are generally found in wooded areas. Longtime mushroom hunters head to the woods when lilacs are about to bloom, while others look to wildflowers in bloom, such as bluebells, trillium and bloodroot, or the emergence of perennial hostas.
If you’re interested in finding your own morel mushrooms, check out this list of tips.