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Old Feb 21, 2017, 11:24 pm   #1
Jochs
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Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

In the fall, it was predicted that the Midwest would experience below normal temps and above normal precipitation (snowfall.)
In December, we did, with temps in the -20s in LaPorte Co. a few days before Chirstmas, and near 0 every where else around SW MI.

But since Christmas, we've had a couple of snowstorms, and a couple of episodes of freezing rain, and even some January thunderstorms. (Thunderstorms moved through the area last week in Cass Co.)
We've had normal to above normal temps most of this winter. We have had

It's been in the 60s almost every day since Saturday, 50s most of last week after some snow early in the week.
Last night's rain brought out some Spring Peepers in my Berrien Co. pond. I could hear 3 of them counter-calling (Spring Peepers will actually listen to each other and 'take turns' calling so as not to call over each other and be individually heard.)

Based on what I've seen online, much of Northern MI still had snow as of a few days ago, but the Southern half has been relatively snow-free for a couple of weeks now.
We've had about 30 inches of snow this winter in Berrien Co, which is below normal...however, we are above normal in precipitation, which was predicted. (Had it been cold, we'd have had lots of snow.)
With Michigan's crazy weather, I am certain we'll see some snow in March and April.

With the lack of snow, the sun we had over the weekend, and today's rain, the ground isn't frozen. My Silver Maples blossomed over the weekend, and I heard some Kildeer yesterday.

Last year, on March 9th I took a video of Spring Peepers calling, and found my first morels around April 17th, which is a 5 week period.
I'm guessing morels will be appearing 5 weeks from now in Berrien Co, around March 28th, and black morels will be big enough to harvest by April 6th.
Cold weather is supposed to return this weekend, but based on our current trend, it won't last very long. I hope it doesn't stay too warm, living here in Michigan's Fruit Belt....if this weather keeps up fruit trees most certainly will break dormancy and blossom, and run the risk of being injured by late season hard freezes.

These are my thoughts on this season. What are you thinking in your area?
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Old Feb 22, 2017, 12:28 am   #2
Jochs
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

Here's another thought for the season....mosquitoes will probably be bad.
A friend of mine posted a smashed one in his palm today from Nappanee (Elkhart County,)IN.
I've found that when mosquitoes come out early, they are usually bad that spring.
There is a lot of standing water in SW MI from the plentiful rain this past winter.
Though this weekend's hard freeze will probably kill any adults, I'm sure a lot of eggs will be laid before this weekend by the bugs that are already out, and those will hatch and pupate just in time for morel season in a few weeks.
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Old Feb 22, 2017, 11:54 am   #3
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

My opinion: weather patterns will become more extreme and unpredictable.
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Old Feb 22, 2017, 1:32 pm   #4
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

I found black morels near Ludington Michigan on March 1 about four years ago if y'all remember that.
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Old Feb 22, 2017, 11:56 pm   #5
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

The weather is supposed to turn cold this weekend, so that should slow things down.
2012 was a warm, early spring...I found my first morel on April 1st in Berrien County.
This year is different though....the ground is wetter, and we've had plenty of precipitation this winter.

I found fresh blacks on April 1st...and a second flush of fresh blacks in mid-May 2012 in Berrien County.
Hopefully, if it's an early year, it lasts a long time and everyone who hunts morels has a rewarding year.
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Old Feb 23, 2017, 3:49 am   #6
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

I saw on TV that the most northern part of the Michigan Mitt has received above average snow amounts do far this winter.
Where we live in Midland County, we got hardly no snow at all! Only one decent storm and a couple or three light snows. Ground is bare right now, and not much standing water. Ground never froze deep/hard enough to keep water on top. Sump pump has been working all winter. Our coldest time, and heaviest snowfall, was in last two weeks in Dec. Since then, it's been an easy winter.
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Old Feb 24, 2017, 6:04 pm   #7
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

I agree with most of your predictions. I am worried it's going to be a bad year, very similar to last year, but we will have to wait-and-see. A lot stacked up against us last year so it might be tough to be as bad this year. If the weather can stabilize for a little while and we get plenty of moisture in April and May it could still be very good. Just have to see what happens. I definitely worry about things getting going so early and then the potential for late freezes though.
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Old Feb 25, 2017, 4:46 am   #8
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

I don't start to worry or predict too much, until I get into the woods.
Then I can worry, or predict, a good season. LOL
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Old Feb 27, 2017, 9:48 pm   #9
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

Friday's thunderstorms and Saturday's snow helped add moisture to the soil in SW MI, which is still damp.
I saw my first Turkey Vulture over the weekend in NW IN, and heard a Woodcock this evening here in Berrien County. Sandhill Cranes are also back in SW MI.

It looks like another mild week, but not as mild as last week, with another taste of winter at the end of the week to begin March.

So far everything seems to be about 2 weeks or so ahead of last year, so I figure, since I found a small morel on April 17th last year, I'll probably find morel sprouts around April 3rd in Berrien Co. I said earlier I would find them big enough to harvest on April 9th...so we'll see.

One thing you do not want to do is wait until the date you found them last year. I did that about 8 or 9 years ago and almost missed the black morels!

It's better to go out too early than to go out too late and miss them!
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Old Feb 28, 2017, 5:26 pm   #10
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Re: Spring 2017...Morel Predicitons.

Yeah it seems like we didn't even have winter here in northern Indiana. I'm worried its gonna be like last year. One weekend I went up to the grand MI and it seemed a little early and hot/dry, the next weekend i returned to find a few inches of snow... I hope we don't deal with that again this year but it doesn't look too promising.
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