First Morel of 2008 Season

This is likely not one of the choisiest "true" morels, but a more mishapen cousin of theirs, Gyromitra esculenta. Although "esculenta" means delicious, and for a good reason, one should treat these ugly little beauties with great care, because they could be quite poisonous if improperly cooked.

The backdrop is a Ballhead Waterleaf plant (Hydrophyllum capitatum), barely preparing to open its furry flower-buds at this elevation. Ballhead Waterleaf is one of our early spring flowers, but as you can see, the season of morels is even earlier!

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