There is one post in particular on my blog that is more popular than any other page or post. And it has absolutely nothing to do with my dolls or artwork. This post, a story about growing up searching for morel mushrooms at the feet of my Dad, is the most visited post on my blog. Even now, years after I originally published the story, comments are active.

In my web statistics, I can see that lots of folks are still interested in searching for morel mushrooms in Kentucky. Traffic to my site begins to pick up in March & continues through April & on into May.

What can I say, lots of people love morels. And lots of people love the search for the morel. By this time, after a couple of searches I sometimes close my eyes and see the texture of the morel mushroom. They’re hard little buggers to spot.




With heavy leaf fall and lots of similar textures on the ground it is sometimes very hard to see these little things. It’s no wonder that some mushroom gatherers carry walking sticks with a morel mushroom carved into the wood. Rather than identifying shape, it’s more the texture that you’re looking for. In fact, when I spot a mushroom, the best way to describe it is that my eyes accidentally “bumped” into it. Amongst all the leaf litter my eye just happens upon something more substantial.

So far this year we’ve only found a few mushrooms. One of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had was when my husband and I found over 150 in one spot! I was like Gretel, picking up pieces of candy from the Kentucky hills. I followed a whimsical, twisted path, plucking mushrooms from the ground every few seconds. If they had led me into the deepest darkest valley I would have followed joyfully and never made my way back out.

There isn’t much that can beat a warm, sunny spring day in Kentucky. Redbuds in bloom are often breathtaking and bloom about the same time as many other native trees, including the dogwood. This almost always coincides with the mushroom hunting season. And I swear, it can be breathtaking!


The most common search terms for today & yesterday! I love this!



Searching for Morel Mushrooms in Kentucky’s Woods

For my family, in Kentucky, springtime means two things–trout fishing & mushroom hunting. Often referred to as dry land fish (because of the shape when viewed from the side), morel mushrooms begin popping up mid-late April & end early May. I’ve been hunting them since childhood, when my dad would announce that mushrooms were probably up & it was time to go dry land fishing. We would take to the woods–a group of adults & lots of little ones. Dad would remind us to watch where we stepped, lead us to poplar trees & when he bent down & plucked something from the earth, we all came running, too excited to remember to watch where our feet landed. Many times I stood, in the middle of the woods, thinking ‘God, why can’t they be purple or blue?’. My eyes could not see them & I had not yet developed the patience to search for the elusive morel.

My how things change.

Over the years, I kept going mushroom hunting with Dad. He taught me how to identify a poplar tree, took me to his secret mushroom spots, places where he had found oodles in the past. We discovered new spots together & still every time he bent down to pluck one from the earth, I had to resist the urge to break into a full run to see what he had found. The most important thing I’ve learned from my Dad about searching for the morel is that you can’t be in a hurry. I’ve learned a wealth of other important information, too: Look near sycamore trees & poplars. Search old apple orchards. Begin searching in mid-late April after a rain & then a few warm days in a row. Never eat a morel with a ‘cottony’ stem (This is the ‘False Morel’, which is poisonous. ‘True Morels’ have hollow stems.) Pinch mushrooms off at the bottom. Conceal your mushroom bag until you get in the woods! And never reveal your good mushroom spots. But most importantly, take your time, look in a spot two or three times. Move slowly & cautiously. Enjoy the hunt as well as the finding. And if you find a lot, share them with someone you love!

Last night’s findings–My husband & I found 106! We were ecstatic.




Mushroom tip: Always carry your mushrooms in a mesh bag so the spores can fall as you walk! A couple of years down the road, you’ll be happy you did!