This summer's dry weather in the Northwest Territories' Deh Cho region has stunted a promising morel mushroom season.
Pickers have been harvesting the specialty mushroom for almost a month, but the morels have started to shrivel in the heat. Now, pickers are hoping a couple of days of rain will help the crop rebound.
"We're all hopeful," says Joe Salvo, who buys morels for Ponderosa Mushrooms in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
"The shame of it is that the ground was just covered with baby mushrooms, baby morels, and there were plenty, plenty plenty of mushrooms still to be produced on that ground had it not gotten so hot and so dry."
Salvo estimates his buyers have harvested more than 23,000 kilograms so far in the Deh Cho.
During the peak weeks there were hundreds of pickers — people from the Deh Cho, as well as from Yukon, B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Salvo says only a few pickers are left.
Some say they'll be back if the mushrooms start growing again.