Spring in the Forest: Blooms and Burns

The morning of May 12th I awoke to the smell of smoke in the air, that pleasant sitting-around-a-campfire smell. At daybreak, I could also see it, hovering over the ground like a thin, dirty-white veil, wrapping my house and everything on the valley slope as it slowly rose to meet the forest. The feature photo… Continue reading Spring in the Forest: Blooms and Burns

Point of View

I continue pursuing emerging wildflowers as spring progresses in Idaho's mountains. I'm obsessed. I dream of a quiet man who explains nothing and defends nothing, but only knows where the rarest wildflowers are blooming, and who goes, and finds that he is smiling not by his own will.Wendell Berry A friend, Karen S, recently recommended… Continue reading Point of View

Happy Spring Equinox!

It hardly looks like spring here in Idaho's mountains. The ground is still covered in well over a foot of snow. Many in more temperate climates are already greeting crocuses and daffodils, and cherry trees are blossoming. She turned to the sunlightAnd shook her yellow head,And whispered to her neighbor:“Winter is dead.”A. A. Milne Not… Continue reading Happy Spring Equinox!

Fool’s Spring

Living in the mountains, one quickly learns that predicting weather in March is a fool's errand. For several weeks, the swings between winter and spring are wild and seemingly random. Nature teases with warm days of sunshine, melting the long winter's snow pack on the ground and inviting you to step outside without jacket, hat… Continue reading Fool’s Spring

Dog Photobombs VII: Late May through July, 2020.

Peak wildflower season in the mountains. I could use a little brightness right now so I'm setting the dog photobomb wayback machine to springtime in the mountains. Enjoy! Look at the cute tree swallow! Not technically a dog bomb.... Incoming on the left... ...moving through. My favorite, a Lewis's monkeyflower on my little monkey, Finn.… Continue reading Dog Photobombs VII: Late May through July, 2020.

Dog Photobombs VI: Early May 2020

All but one of these photobombs occurred in the first half of May 2020, when wildflowers were near their peak in the Payette National Forest at elevations between 4,000-4,500 feet. My dogs are patient as I constantly stop to take closeups of wildflowers when we're out in the forest. They explore nearby as they wait,… Continue reading Dog Photobombs VI: Early May 2020

Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: House Wrens

I had no idea what a house wren was until Conall caught a baby wren in the yard two years ago, spitting it out unharmed. That's when I noticed an upset adult wren on the other side of the fence, in the wildflower garden. Wrens were using a small hole in the siding of my… Continue reading Spring 2020 Critter Encounters: House Wrens

So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time

Spring officially ends June 19th this year. It's always a little sad saying goodbye, watching nature's exuberant bursts of growth and color wane during the hotter and drier months of summer. Where I live, at 4,000 feet in the mountains of central Idaho, spring starts arriving in April and doesn't really gain steam until May… Continue reading So Long, Spring, ‘Till Next Time

Thrilled by Trillium

I first became acquainted with trillium wildflowers in the forests of western Washington. At the lower elevations of the Cascade foothills where I did so much trail running before moving to Idaho, they were the first wildflower of spring, adding bright splashes of white and green near the ground where they grew under the tall… Continue reading Thrilled by Trillium

Wildflowers and Weather

In a 24-hour period over April 27-28 the weather gods overseeing Idaho's central mountains served up a smorgasbord of offerings for our enjoyment. Rain, sun, wind, thunder and lightning, and after the storm passed and the clouds parted, a stunning sunset ushering in clear skies and night stars followed by a new day of birdsong… Continue reading Wildflowers and Weather