Here on the Cumberland Plateau the Morel mushrooms are sometimes referred to as "Dryland Fish."
Morels can appear overnight and are a gift of the early spring woods. I have heard all my life an old saying that says when Oak tree leaves are the size of mouse ears it's time to look for Morels.
They can be very hard to spot even to the well trained eye! You have to really key in on what your looking for and it definitely gets a little easier with experience. I've had days when I've walked several miles and haven't found any at all and other days I feel as if I've hit the mother load! Anyone who knows me knows this is my favorite time of year!
Morels are often found around certain types of trees depending on what area your from. So I definitely recommend learning the different types of trees if you want to become a seasoned mushroom hunter. Here on the Plateau I like to watch under fruit trees, Tulip Popular ,Cedar, White Pines, Sycamore, Hickory, and Ash trees just to name afew.
If your lucky enough to spot a Morel take note of what type of trees are nearby and the area because usually they will grow in the same general area year after year.
These mushrooms will not grow unless the soil and weather conditions are just right. A wet and warm Spring is generally a good sign of a great mushroom season.
Usually the first Morels of the season tend to be darker and found on the Southward or South Westward slopes because in early Spring the ground in those areas usually seem to warm up faster. Soon to follow you will start finding them in other areas as well. The Morels in the later part of the season tend to be more yellow, white, and grey. The Morel mushroom season is very short usually only lasting 3 to 4 weeks.
Some mushrooms are very toxic and afew can be fatal ! So I recommend being 100% sure you know what your doing when gathering any wild mushroom. Even with Morels there is a False Morel that is very toxic and to the untrained eye can be very misleading. (So be very careful and learn how to tell the difference!!! "
NEVER eat any mushroom that you aren't 100% sure is safe!