This past weekend I ventured into the Boise National Forest. I was on the hunt for morels (or at least a good morel hunting spot). I chose a specific section of the Boise National Forest because a forest fire had occurred there the previous summer. Morel hunting is typically quite good in forests that have burned the previous year, and morel hunters, being well aware of this phenomenon, are found chomping at the bit, anxious to enter a recently burned site and collect their bounty.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find any morels on this trip. I was a little too early, which I was assuming might be the case as I was heading out there, but I was just excited to go and check things out. Hopefully I will get a chance to go again within the next few weeks, and perhaps I’ll have better luck.
The trip was not a complete disappointment though. What started out as a mushroom hunt quickly turned into a wildflower walk as I was overwhelmed by the abundance and diversity of wildflowers that blanketed the mountainsides. Below is a small sampling of the plants that I saw on my trip into the woods.
Balsamorhiza sagittata – arrowleaf balsamroot
Castilleja covilleana – rocky mountain paintbrush
Lomatium dissectum – fernleaf biscuitroot
Paeonia brownii – brown’s peony
Viola purpurea – yellow mountain violet