I was out again today in Huntingdon County and found a dozen morels. I'm certainly no expert at finding morels, or any other mushroom for that matter. But I've found a few in a place where they are not plentiful and have a couple tips that I think might help those club members with even less experience than me. My tips are on how to find morels, not where to find morels. I'm still figuring that out and will leave such advice to others more astute.
While tramping the woods today I came up with the axiom that the hardest morel to find is the first morel you find. That's certainly the case if you start hunting the first of March as I did this year;>) But it's also true in general. Consider this. I have never just found a patch of morels. I have found one morel. After which I found others near by, constituting a "patch." And I believe there is a rational reason for why this is so.
While in engineering school I learned that the human eye and brain form a very potent pattern recognition system. Have you ever seen places like eBay where one is required to type in a string of numbers displayed on the screen? The numbers are different sizes and fonts, tilted at odd angles, and sometimes run together. The human brain has little difficulty recognizing the number sequence. But this is a difficult machine task, even for the powerful computers of the day, helping to keep hackers out. I am firmly convinced that this is part of the explanation for why the second and subsequent morels in a patch seem to jump out at us once we have located the first. Once we see one, our brain acquires the image or pattern against which to compare others. Only then do they become quite obvious.
The dark mesh-like surface of the morel allows it to blend well into a wide variety of backgrounds. They can be surprisingly difficult to see, so my first tip when hunting the morel is to look specifically for morels. I do not think it is a crazy idea to look at photos immediately prior to going afield. Fix in you mind's eye an image of the morel color, texture, size, and shape. Then, when you cast your gaze on that first morel of the season you will enhance your chance of actually seeing it instead of possibly walking on by. I was lucky enough to spot the morel in the first photo below hiding in the leaves. I lost sight of it while getting the camera out and had to find it a second time. But the color and texture gave it away and I found a couple others a short distance down the trail. One of them, in the second photo, was hiding in plain sight in some gravel. If I hadn't been looking specifically for them I might well have walked past all of them.
Good luck hunting. Post a photo of your find.