I got an invitation to go hunting for morels last weekend, and ever the acceptor of invitations to go to the forest, I went along although I have never hunted morels before. The biggest finds of the day turned out to be the deer (or possibly elk, in the case of the larger one) skulls you see above. We came upon the almost entire skeletons of these animals, which were either cougar kills, or, in the opinion of one of the people I was with, possible victims of the terrible freeze we had during the winter. Another person in our party found a bobcat skull a few miles away. We also found evidence of several grouse kills:
As for morels, well, we didn't find a single one, although we found plenty of what are called "false morels":
Walking along a trail a little later, we found these gorgeous fungi:
The offical mushroomer of our party felt that these are Amanita pantherina, related to those classic red fly agaric Amanitas that evoke the fairytale forest.
Not far away from those mushrooms was this amazing bunch of moss and lichen:
I felt lucky to be out and about on a fine and wild spring day!
(ye old disclaimer: I am not a mycologist. I present my pictures for our mutual enjoyment but not for identification purposes. If you are hunting mushrooms, bring an experienced person with you!)