For the un-initiated, these are morel mushrooms, specifically black morels, which are first to appear in any morel season.
No morel hunter would ever post where the cache is, but I will say that I find my first crop every year in a boulder field in NJ.
Now to say that mushrooms grow amidst boulders is, I know, like suggesting brown trout can be harvested from puddles. So to be honest, there are in fact "partner" trees scattered amidst the stones. Still......
Well, the field slopes southward, and the trees are far enough separated so that the stones get sunlight. Ergo this is the warmest early spring site I know.
In 2010, 2009 and 2008 I found only 1 or 2 morels in this place. Gathering 11 for a first take leaves me optimistic. Getting home without any deer ticks also is a good sign. (I'm not counting my black fly bites).
For those of you keeping calendar, I usually get the first find between April 2 and 10. 2011 is, therefore, running late. Yesterday was a cold-ass day in the woods, btw.
Yes, I am planning to eat these all myself. Or rather with my wife Leslie, who loves them too.
Good luck to all you 'shroomers. May 2011 be a banner year!