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Old Feb 23, 2019, 3:10 pm   #1
Jochs
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Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predictions.

I thought I'd start a new thread for this year with predictions and results throughout morel season, that could be used in future years for reference.
I'll have to revisit a thread I started last year to see the ties between signs of spring and morel season.
Today, I heard my first Red-winged Blackbirds on my property in Berrien Co. I also saw an icicle on a maple tree branch, indicating sap leakage. I had a limb broken off of one of my Silver Maples, so I'll be checking that for sap leakage as well. The recent weather and the coming weather looks good for sap harvesting across S MI, with above freezing days and below freezing nights.

Last year, I observed the same conditions a few days earlier compared to this year, but we had a cold April and I didn't harvest my first morels until early May. Then May was really hot, and we had a short but sweet morel season in S MI.
Hopefully, this season turns out good for everyone.
I think cool springs are better because you can have a second flush of morels, which we didn't have with the hear last May in Berrien Co.

I'm going to take a shot at predicting when Berrien County will start producing morels this spring and say April 20th, give or take a day.
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Old Feb 25, 2019, 1:44 pm   #2
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

Well, early March looks to be very cold, so the snow likely won't melt up north until late April. That presents some unique challenges for me as I cannot get into my cabin until the snow recedes in the woods, not just out in the fields. Last year was similar, in that I went up in early April only to have to walk in, making several of the 3/4 mile round trips in order to open the place and have food and clothing.

2018 was not the greatest morel year for me, at least not in Kalkaska and Missaukee counties. What I did find was mostly later in the year, as the rains came regularly with warmups following. The chanterelles, craterellus, lobsters, hedgehogs, oysters, Laetiporus and more were abundant from June through October. In fact I just finished a bowl of beef "stoup" loaded with C. ignicolor. Delicious.

My guess is I will find my first morel sometime around Mother's Day. The last one I find will likely be on Memorial weekend, by the lakeshore, and full of sand. Such a short season. But by then the Pleurotus and Ganoderma will be popping.
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Old Feb 26, 2019, 12:02 am   #3
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

Last year was unusual. It warmed up all at once across the state, and morel season pretty much started in the south (late) at the same time as it did up north. I was surprised to see how far along the trees were up in Gaylord, as they were about the same down in Berrien County when I went up to the morel dinner last year. Any other time, trees were just starting to bud up in Gaylord, while the trees had been out for a couple of weeks already across the counties that border IN and OH.

And as for ticks this year, I'm not sure where they spend the winter. If they spend it at ground level, they will not be affected by the bitter cold we had in January, especially if they were buried under snow. Those bitter cold nights we had in December when there was no snow may have reduced their populations, though.
Hopefully they won't be as thick this year. Also, I've found that the warmer it is, the thicker they are, as they are cold blooded. I don't like morel hunting when it is over 75 degrees for that reason.
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Old Mar 12, 2019, 11:18 pm   #4
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

Yesterday I saw and heard my first Killdeer in Berrien County. No Turkey Vultures yet.
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Old Mar 16, 2019, 6:35 pm   #5
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

It seems that predictions are near impossible until the season has started and even then its a crap shoot. We just dont what the season will be like until the last mushroom is picked, and I think thats one of the things that makes it exciting.
The elements of hope, the mystery of what the ??? is going on out in my spots, and the excitement of great discoveries.
Let the preparations for 2019 begin :)
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Old Mar 18, 2019, 2:06 am   #6
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

Last Thursday, 3/14/19, I saw my first Turkey Vultures in Berrien County, and saw several more on Sunday.
I know it's hard to predict when morel season will start, but it will be interesting to see this year how long it takes for the first signs of spring until the morels pop.
I've seen lots of recent morel reports on Facebook from Alabama and Georgia this year, probably about 700 or so miles south of the southern tier of Lower Michigan counties, so I'm guessing we have about 7 weeks to wait...or around May 4th, possibly sooner around April 27th if we have more mild weather. Our first 60+ degree day of 2019 occurred on the 14th, along with severe storms that brought large hail to some areas of Berrien County (my area had pea-sized hail.) This same complex of storms produced four tornadoes in Shiawassee County near Vernon and Durand, and then lifted and reformed near Corunna, then lifted. A fourth tornado formed near Flint in Genesee County. From what I understand, with the cold winter we had, we can expect more strong thunderstorms this spring as the warm weather replaces the cold weather.
Hopefully, this spring will be warmer than last spring. Remember how we seemed to go to summer by mid-May after a cold beginning? I had a short but sweet morel season in Berrien and Van Buren Counties. I was hoping for another 2003, when it was chilly and rainy, then mild and rainy, and was an excellent year.

It has definitely been a wet winter, even though in SW MI we didn't have a lot of snow. It seems most storms this winter went south of us. We have had decent rains in the last few months, though the ice storms weren't fun.

Sap is flowing in S MI and Northern IN. I was in Amish Country over the weekend and saw lots of tapped maples. I'll have to see how long it was last year between the start of maple sap tapping and morel season. I heard that maple sap flowing is a better predictor of spring than a silly rodent.

I always start looking when the Serviceberries bloom. and the Norway Maples start getting leaves. You can tell a week or so in advance when the maples are going to bud out, because the seeds germinate and sprout about a week before the trees leaf out, and in the days before the seeds sprout, they stand up straight in the ground before the sapling emerges from the seed.

I'm glad spring is only days away now.
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Old Mar 19, 2019, 8:23 pm   #7
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

Jeff

Still no turkey vultures in Ingham county.

I enjoyed reading that last post. Thanks for taking the time to type it.
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Old Mar 25, 2019, 1:48 am   #8
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

Last night, I was in Southern Berrien COutny and heard a bunch of Spring Peepers and Chorus Frogs calling from a swampy area.
Tonight, I have two Spring Peepers calling in my pond. Music to my ears!
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Old Mar 28, 2019, 11:40 pm   #9
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

More than two Spring Peepers calling at my pond tonight!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpYpVPTQVQc
It looks like mild temps are in store for next week to kick off April.
If this keeps up, and we get decent rain, we could possibly be finding morels in Berrien County by Easter. (April 21st.)
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Old Mar 31, 2019, 10:44 pm   #10
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Re: Spring of 2019, and Morel Season Predicti

there is not much snow left here in the manistee forest 3/31 2019 i predict a good year this year why not i do that ever year good luck to all Pohlcat
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