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Around here the biggest disaster the people worry about is wildfire. Last year we had more than our share of fires in North Central Washington and many folks were trapped in their houses for days in hopes of avoiding the choking smoke. I am reminded of this now with the US Forest Service doing controlled burning in hopes of preventing uncontrolled fires in the future. The smell is strong in the air and I can see the smoke’s haze all over the valley.

One gift of fire is the morel mushroom. The fire morel is a delicacy that is hunted with great zeal in a burned landscape. My uncle came to visit this week in hopes of getting the mushroom season off to a good start. He had studied last year’s fires’ locations and aspects and picked one area to explore. He was right. With the little bit warmer weather we are finally getting, the fungi are just starting to show themselves and we both came home with about a gallon of them. He said the ones we harvested are most likely natural morels and that the fire morels will come on a bit later. On our menu last night was morel risotto! What a treat.



The landscape looks very bleak.




I heard and saw Black-backed Woodpeckers who come into a burned forest almost immediately to consume the insects that have arrived to consume the dead trees.




Many of the morels were growing out from under rocks and burned roots. This is a nice looking one.




I also heard Canyon Wrens’ beautiful songs from the cliffs above.



One Comment

  1. Love these fire aftermath photos. Especially cool to see those trees that may have been spared. Nice the birds can still find a spot to loose their songs.

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