A new camping season with friends has started, beginning with our first outing of the year, this past Mother's Day weekend. Sure, I didn't get flowers and breakfast in bed, but I did eat morels around the campfire and woke up to birdsong in the woods. Dinners were fantastic again, with communal cooking for the meals, our cooperation made mealtime easy and abundant. We had vegetarian chili, venison stew, beans and rice, fried dryad's saddle, and fresh bread for dinners. Potato pancakes, ramps and wild rice hash, and toad-in-the hole, plus bacon and toast filled our tummies in the mornings. We fished for a couple small brook trout, and gathered fresh ramps greens in the woods.
While our actual hunt only yielded 11 morels, 6 Morchella americana and 5 Morchella punctipes, we did find a good amount of tender Dryad's saddle (Polyporus squamosus) to slowly cook until browned and crispy. The season is late and chilly where we were camping, even the ferns were not yet unfurled and many trees were still leafless. Even with a thunderstorm and some night time rain, plus a flood in the screen house that needed to be drained, we still had a great time and look forward to the 2014 camping season with our fellow mushroom hunters and foragers.