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45 Huckleberries I guess you could say that my blood runs purple. Maybe its because there is a certain succulent delicious and always-elusive fruit growing only in the wild that is my favorite source of not only nutrition but also solace camaraderie nature wildlife and almost everything in between. The magic Huckleberry is part of me and Ill tell you why. The art of huckleberry picking was introduced to me at an early age by my parents. They would take me and my sisters out picking with the promise of huckleberry pancakes huckleberry buck huckleberry sundaes and of course huckleberry pie. As the years went by a few family members dropped out of the family affair until it was just my sister Sally and my Dad Jim. When my three kids were able to carry a bucket and walk I immediately bribed them to pick. The bribe was easy. Pick a bucket of berries and get ice cream for lunch We still make all the delicious desserts but since turning 21 decades ago our favorite treat is my Moms famous huckleberry daiquiris. When that cocktail hour chimes you can almost always find my Mom Mike whipping up some fantastic daiquiris to enjoy while sitting on the beach at Linger Longer. For as long as I can rememberI have spent many a summer picking this sumptuous fruit. I have to say however in my younger years I was not always a willing picker. Picking is definitely an acquired obsession. As I got older I definitely was more anxious to get out into the woods in search of the beautiful royal fruit. Besides picking with my sister and DadI also go picking with my four-legged furry friends Libby and Kali. They are both labs - one brown and one black. Their owner also happens to be a dear friend and fellow huckleberry fanatic who I met over thirty years ago while working at Hills Resort. We all make a very happy group - the dogs my Dad my sister and my friend Claudia Collins Ebel. I have to say however if anyone new ever joins us picking we do blindfold them. They will never know where we venture to fill our buckets Ha A true picker never reveals hisher favorite spots. There is nothing like the feeling of coming upon that perfect huckleberry patchsitting on the earthhearing that very first ping in your bucket and picking to your hearts content. Its not just gathering these delicious gems that pulls me into the wilderness every summer it is also the promise of an almost Zen-like state. Wandering through Gods country here at Priest Lake will pretty much cure anything that ails you. The peace you feel in the woods such as listening to the wind hearing the birds seeing the occasional majestic moose or happening on a grouse and her babies. Even the heavy crunching of something bigger than you quite close by is something that anyone who calls themselves a Priest Laker has to experience. Mother Nature smiled upon Priest Lake and blessed her abundantly. There is a beauty here that is breathtaking and unmatched by anything else in the world. The huckleberries are just a bonus Sharon Fish Larson In memory of Jim Fish June 17 1930 - August 7 2015 MushroomsBoletus Edulis King Bolete Cep Porcini these are all the same mushroom. Bulbous gigantic delicious rare hamburger bun-like these describe this true king of mushrooms. Growing only when conditions are perfect this fungus will either be rare or extraordinarily abundant.They seem to prefer sprouting under spruce hemlock or white fir trees. Creek beds are also an excellent spot to look especially with old growth trees. King Boletes are so delicious that everything eats them - maggots slugs squirrels deer and of course mushroom lovers. Fried in butter there is no better mushroom in my opinion. Tasting nutty and meaty theyre almost steak- like. Dried they add a heavenly taste to any meal theyre cooked with. Occasionally they grow in June but are far more common in September and October the classic mushroom months. Beautiful changing leaves and gorgeous plump full- bodied mushrooms mean that autumn is here. Almost as delicious and far more common is the Aspen Bolete Leccinum Insigne. Meaty and robust this is an excellent mushroom. Its dark red cap and white stalk with black dusting are a dead giveaway. The best things about this mushroom are that it grows all summer long and loves roadsides and trails The first one I ever saw was on the side of Highway 57 and at 60 mph they are that obvious As always be careful eating wild mushrooms. Be 100 positive of your identification before eating them. Even then completely edible mushrooms can cause stomach upsets with certain individuals. Buy a mushroom guide book the best being Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora.Try to go with an experienced hunter and enjoy the adventure of identifying all the mushrooms you can. Woody Venard