Morel mushrooms are thumb-sized wild mushrooms that pop up near fallen wood, trees, and May Apple bushes. They are really delicious (especially when coated with a little flour and fried) and look like little brains:
Morel season usually goes from late April to mid May, but on cause of the warm weather they're popping up early this year. My cousin found some in Allerton Park today.
Mushroom hunting is a big deal in Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and, of course, Illinois. People have their secret spots, known to produce a ton of mushrooms, about which they won't even tell their spouses or children. Someone who can find a grocery bag full is a saint in their household.
I'm thinking about heading up the state forest east of Ludlow on Friday afternoon, weather permitting. I say Friday because I fear Saturday there's gonna be a lot of people out, and the area would've already been scoured.
Anyone who's interested should comment or e-mail me (sashermn AAATTT illinoise dout edu). By going morel hunting you instantly increase your midwest cred tenfold, if that's your goal.