updated 8/8/15
~ Natures' Candy ~

Found in her outdoor natural store
where you may leave at times without any candy 
'cept maybe the sweetness
of a little peace of mind.~ 
Some members of Congress want to put our public lands and National Parks up for sale to highest bidders
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are NOT for sale!
Sign the Petition to say NO!

Morel Mushrooms
A taste that drives people to the woods to wander aimlessly about. Shroomer's walking in the woods can make a drunk look sober
Remember the spots where you've found groups of morels, chances are they'll reward you the next year should conditions be right.
lovely treats that not only taste good, but when used regularly, they help combat nastie health ailments like 
cancer and memory loss

It helps to eat 'em while pickin'... so ya won't forget where the car is.

Just a few
but they're good!
Blackberries &
(also known as the 
"Service Berry")
 a couple other delicious morsels that tickle the tastebuds and aid the body when used in regular diet.


wear a long sleeve shirt and pants 'n boots when pickin' Raspberries and Blackberries. Just do it, you'll thank me.

Those Delicious Morels!


Morel Mushroom Update
for the Montmorency County area

May 9th, 2015

Nature has again thrown many loops into this season. We've started out with unseasonable chilly temps with no rain.  Not what one would think would be mushroom growing weather.  Some good rainfall Friday night and Saturday morning may have been the saving grace. 
The birds and ground cover plants are sure liking it. Until now, the new growth on the Woods floor has basically been non-existent. First time I've seen the buds on the tree's pop out before any mushrooms or ground cover.  

No Beefsteaks are popped and few trilliums have greeted the new season, yet some area's of hit and miss are producing some good finds of blacks.  
The woods are loaded with muchroom pickers who've been awaiting that rain. That kind of competition doesn't leave many 'shrooms left in the popular picking area's. First come first served

Many area's still require alot of walking but coming upon a good mess will give the feet a break.
The bulk of my finds have been in mixed hardwoods including poplar/pine habitats.  Dense growth of junior and adult tree's with packed down leaves with some moss in sloped uneven grades that get good sun. 

Trilliums and just getting started with maple tree's a week or two ahead for budding out.  Kinda what we'd expect to see in late April, not early May. 

Please be aware the tick season had begun weeks ago. Do a "tick check" when coming out from the hunt. This passed bitter winter is presumed to have hit the tick population some but still do the check when you come out of the woods.

It's Officially Tick Season!
Enjoy the woods INFORMED
For pictures of the various tick species and life stages
visit TickEncounter.org

Want to have your tick tested?
Tick Identification and Testing Form
Offered by MDARD -
Michigan Dept of Agriculture and Rural Development

Stay clear of Permethrin
in your insecticides and tick repellent products. 
It just keeps on killing. Not only the insect or bug
but things that feed on the insect too. 
Like so many chemicals such as Roundup,
this stuff just doesn't dissipate or stabilize.

Check the local ORV Trail Report  for updated ground conditions and weekend weather forecast. 

MAKE SURE you know what you are picking!  Then, enjoy!!!
Hollow stems are what to look for
Click HERE to view larger image of GRANDPA MOREL!   click on image for larger view

Keep and eye out for remaining elk sheds during your Morel Mushroom search. Animals such as the porcupine and squirrels nibble on bones and antlers as a source of calcium. So they don't stay around for long out in the woods unless they're somehow overlooked. (which isn't that uncommon)
 We aren't the only ones searching for those antlers. 

Morel Mushroom Storage
Drying Morels for Storage -    Using a large brown paper bag, rip or cut the bag to lay out flat on a table.   Place fresh morels about on the brown paper bag surface being careful not to pile the mushrooms atop one another. Spread out evenly to begin the drying process.    Stir morels, flipping some over before bedtime  /    Repeat stirring/flipping process of fresh morels about 3 times a day for  3 to 5 days (when shrinkage is apparent to the bulk of the mushrooms)  //   Then stir/flip mushrooms twice a day for another 2-3 days or until significant shrinkage and drying has occurred.  //  When shrooms feel hardened and dry & have a hollow "tune" when handling them, place the lot into a large brown paper bag and leave open for several more days, periodically shaking the bag as to assure complete and even drying.   // When the mushrooms are thoroughly dry,  fold up the brown paper bag and store in the pantry  or somewhere that doesn't receive direct sunlight and/or moisture.  Under kitchen sink is not the place for storage.
   Be sure to use a Brown Paper Bag!. Can keep dried shrooms for up to 2 years or so and still taste great.   Brown bags are recomended over white or other colored paper bags that use bleach and/or dye's that could impact not only the flavor but leech into the mushroom.  Nobody wants to add nasty stuff to their diet.
     Same goes for plastic containers.  Never store any mushroom or herb in a plastic container unless as frozen.  I'd recommend to store them in a glass container instead of plastic, just make sure the container is protected from light and sealed properly.
     The dried morels can be re-hydrated by simply plopping them into a container of cold water.  Let 'em sit and soak up the water, periodically stirring them for about 15 minutes.  (feel the morels by gently squeezing them to assure they have softened up) 
   Drain the water good and then cut each in half or quartered. Place cut pieces into container of water, stir up with finger and drain.  Repeat if it makes you feel more comfortable.   After draining, dump onto a paper towel or clean dish cloth for a moment to capture any excess moisture from the rinsing.    They'll now be ready to enhance your cooking recipe's or simply sauté' in butter or margarine, salt and serve! (do not sauté' with high heat!)  Of course you can moderate the sauté' process to suit your own dietary needs or desires to tickle the tastebuds with their "meaty" sort of flavor.

Nothin' like some tasty morels to enhance your venison, beef or poultry dinner all year long!     Dried morels keep easily for up to a couple years or so and still retain that wonderful flavor that makes 'em so desired.

Note:    As with many foods we eat, morels contain a small amount of natural strictnine.  It is not advised to devulge in huge quantities as this will just stockpile the strictnine in your body and thus get you to the point of feeling naucious or getting sick when eating the morel.  This usually takes years to get to that point though.     Don't cheat your tastebuds for the long term and eat 'em in moderation    If you've never eaten the morel, it is advised to try a light or modest portion the first time.  Your body will tell you if they don't agree with you. If you think you might be allergic to them, simply wet the inside of your forearm and briefly rub the morel on your skin.  If a rash develops, you are likely to be allergic to them and you'll know then what NOT to do. Always see your physician if you suspect an allergic reaction.

Morel Mushroom Growing Kit

 Grow Morel Mushrooms

Happy Morel Huntin',, 
'n Happy Eatin' !!

  Use this search engine 
to expand your knowledge


If you don't have a cabin or friends to shack up with, the following
motels and lodges can accomodate you here in Atlanta

It's pickin' season for
(update 8/7/14)
~ ~ ~
We're  on the Riley & Allieschedule in spite of loosing around of month of Springtime weather. Though we've not had too much rain, daytime temps have been on the cool side that appears to have given the blueberries and huckleberries good growing conditions. We're having a heck of a 'bumper crop' this year with abundant picking. Alot of plumpies on the vine Not many over-ripe or dried berries on the bush yet and there still are quite a few upripe berries yet to ripen.

Season started for the early pickers around the 2nd week of July.  There looks like a good 2 weeks left of easy picking by the looks of a suprising number of green berries yet to ripen on the bush.

Because blueberries are also favored by bear, be alert for the non-typical moment of an encounter. "Bear Bells" can be worn to minimize the chances of an encounter with bear while picking alone.

Sad Note ~
If you haven't seen or heard, there has been a disheartening amount of tree "harvesting" around Northern Michigan and if you get to your favorite picking spot and it's still there, be thankful.    Click HERE for an image for the area where the  pictures (below) were taken.
Come on out into the real world 
and tickle your tastebuds with Natures Candy!
Click HERE to see what clear cutting did to this blueberry hot spot.



This region generally hosts a huge selection of BlueBerrie pickng grounds on various State Land locations. 
Matured Jack Pines, Red Pines and Austrian Pines are an indicator species where underneath and around them you'll find the low bush blueberries covering the ground in a blanket of green. There are plenty of area's practically void of most other plant species (like ferns) because of the shade created by heavily wooded pines. It's here where you will find some of natures tastiest candy! 

HuckleBerries and BlueBerries grow together and are distinguished by their color and taste as well.
HUCKLEBERRIES are much darker in color,, almost black in appearance
BLUEBERRIES are a light 'sky blue' in appearance and the leaves of the bush are a tad lighter color of green than their cousin the huckleberry. 


For immediate eating, clean up your berries berries by dumping them in a large pot of cold water. Most the stems, leaves and even the green berries will float, making it easy to scoop out the nasties. Then pour into a collander and allow to drain thoroughly. 

Another method for cleaning the berries submitted by a resident local "Runing Moon"is to simply lay out a wool blanket and pour the berries on it. Carefully lift one end and lightly shake it to roll the happy berries down into the collection pan. This will separate the twigs, leaves and sand as they stick to the wool of the blanket.

If you don't wish to can them or eat 'em right away, they do hold much of their flavor if frozen properly. Place cleaned berries into glass or plastic containers and just be sure to 'push' the excess air out by pressing in the center of the container lid while closing it up tight. I don't advise washing them prior to freezer storage as this may result in "ice-clumping" if they aren't thoroughly dry.  By not washing the berries, they'll  not stick to one another, thus making it easy to scoop or pour out the frozen berries at your desire all through the winter. Storing the berries in zip lock or plastic baggies can be quite risky as they will be vulnerable to flavor loss and freezer burn during long-term storage. 

Nothing like enjoying the sweet tastes of summer eating blueberry pancankes with maple syrup for Christmas breakfast!  Wink at the snow as you enjoy the Yummmmmmm!!!

While out picking, respect the source of your tastebud delights 
as not to damage the bushes or the remaining green unripened fruits 
as so they can continue to grace us with the tasty delights 
in abundance for years to come. 

Be it blueberrie muffins, pankcakes, over cereal or ice-cream or just by themselves!  They're just plain  Mmmm MMmmm Good!!!     Sssshhhhh,,,, they're good FOR you too!

Check out some recipe's and 'food for thought' below. 

and your Health
Recipe Links

Recent happenings had me searching through the data base of this internet when low and behold, I discovered that these tasty little treats are much more better than just in the tastebuds.
Blueberries are called what is an 'antitoxidant', a sort of oxygen delivery vehicle.Note: Cancer loves sugar, and hates oxygen!. 
Fruits and vegetables are the good stuff we need to heal up, clean and wipe up the crud we seem to accumilate in our modern diets of chemicals, dyes and who knows what else they stick in our food & snacks.

These findings aren't new by any means of the word except to that of my own personal data base in my noggin'.  Its been this way for all of the plants and herbs that grow here and around the world.   It is just up to us to learn to use them as they were intended by our Maker. 

Enjoy  the Links I've got here for you. 
From yummie recipe's to scientific information on the importance of these sort of fruits in our diet to combat and prevail over cancer, prevent and or inhibit symptoms passed off to aging such as motor-skill loss and memory. 
We need as much help as we can get since these and so many other 'animals' out there such as depression, anxiety and stress that are constantly gnawing at our lives.

 Eat smart, live good, and savour every smile that comes from that delightful feeling when you relish the  tastes of Natures Candy.

Antioxidant Capacity and
 Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Blueberries, the Leader of the Pack
Ronald L. Prior, Ph.D. 

USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts

Fight the enemy with KNOWLEDGE!
 Cancer Related  Links
Alternative & Conventional Reference and support for victims and their loved ones

Alternatives to 
(always check with your professional)

Antioxidant Capacity, Vitamin C, Phenolics, and Anthocyanins after Fresh Storage of Small Fruits.
  Wilhelmina Kalt, Charles F. Forney, Antonio Martin, and Ronald L.
Prior.  The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 1999, 47,
Banana-Blueberry Pancakes!

  • start with the batter, either from scratch or quick-fix (mix it a little drier than normal. The blueberries & banana will add moisture to it)
  • add (1) over-ripe banana (smoosh it up first to a paste-like mush)
  • add 1-2 drops pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • mix it up real good
  • then, add a bunch of blueberries (either frozen or fresh) - - STIR up until blueberries area dispursed evennly within the batter.
  • Pour onto griddle or fryin' pan into various shapes and sizes.

Blueberrie/Peach Dump Cake
(Mock Blue Banana)
  • Use a rectangular cake pan - ungreased
  • Dump a can of sliced peaches including da' juice 
  • Dump about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of sugar in, and mix it allll up. / spread out evenly
  • Dump about a pint or two of huckleberries 'n blueberries on top and spread out evenly
  • Sprinkle a box of white or yellow cake-mix evenly over da' berries.
  • Cube up a stick of butter an toss 'em over the cakemix somewhat evenly
  • Dump a bunch of crushed walnuts atop the cakemix 'n butter,, spread evenly 
  • Bake at 350F for about an hour and 15 minutes 'then remove and allow to cooool
  • Great as a hot topping over vanilla ice cream!!!
  • Grab up a bunch of friends and become gluttons for the evening.  You'll have fun trying to convince them there isn't a bit of banana in the ingredients.

Cool Blueberry Treat
Graham Crackers, Blueberries and Milk
Just dump in a bowl with a tad of sugar
and a couple dashes of cinnamon.

Holy Smokes! Is this goooood!!!

PineApple-Cherry Dump Cake
same as the description above except replace the peaches with pineapple, and the blueberries with cherry pie filling.

 Rich in natural blue antioxidants, Wild Blueberries deliver as much antioxidant power as five servings of other fruits and vegetables. Just 1/2 cup a day has more of what your body may  need to help fight cancer, heart disease and memory loss from aging. And remember, Frozen Wild Blueberries are healthy, delicious and easy to use right out of the freezer.
Quoted from 
5 easy ways to serve blueberries
Mildred Trueman's
Blueberry Bang Belly
(Recipe's from New Brunswick Blueberrie territory!



More Recipe's >>>>

If you don't have a cabin, or friends to shack up with the following 
motels and lodges can accomodate you here in Atlanta
  • Atlanta Motel   989-785-4509
  • WinSans Motel    989-785-2337
  • Elk View Cabins   989-785-4896
Forget the TV, computer and cell phone 'cause  it's time to get out and get next to nature 
and  yourself! 



Raspberries, Blackberries & Juneberries 
A hard year for the berries but they're still out there!
The northern woods are an 'open door' food & candy store and all are certainly welcome.

 We're well in to the raspberry season. Some good reports of easy picking in spite of the cooler than normal temps.  Raspberries are not so plump this year mainly because they favor open sunny area's with good rains. We've had plenty of sunshine but the rains seem to like down state better than here. We've not had near the rainfall for plump raspberries although some area's that did get hit by the many isolated showers in July are doing pretty good.

Blackberries are looking like the fruit should be ripening come late August if we can get good temperatures  and badly needed rains.  I'll try to update pickin' time but if there is no update posted, always take advantage of your tax money and call a biologist at the regional MDNRE. 

Ya might want to don some high boots and jeans to spare the unpleasant stab of a thorn that stuck it's way into your body.   That takes the fun out of pickin'  but I suppose it's "always somethin' " my old friend Sarah used to say.  Indeed, so why let a few pokes and picks ruin' the moment.  The reward is plenty of tasty jams 'n pies to be cooked up.  Nothin' like a raspberry swirl to savour over at Christmas dinner.  You'll be sure to recall the memories of when you picked those very berries with a smile on your face and the taste of delumpcious raspberries on your tongue. 

JUNEBERRIES didn't do so hot this year.  The birds and squirrels faired best for pickin'.  .The berries weren't as plump as they could be, but are still fine for wines 'n pies 'n whatever tickles yur fancy.

More Recipe's and Links!
  • Berries with chocolate sauce (mf) 
  • White Chocolate and         Raspberry Swirl Fondue   recipe by the Global Gourmet
  • Raspberrie Cake   by Migros Türk 
  • Raspberrie Recipe's        at seattletimes.com 

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