Beautiful North Idaho has so much to offer! One great thing is all the edible mushrooms you can find. And spring is a great time to find them. But, you need to know what you’re doing and what you’re looking for as there are more poisonous mushrooms than edible ones. Check out some mushroom identification and tips below.
The most common and popular mushroom in our area is the morel. You have likely heard about morels, and may even have had the great pleasure of tasting one, but you want to be sure you know what you’re looking for if you choose to more hunt.
Don’t expect an expect morel hunter to share their secret more picking spots, for many reasons. The majority of morels grow in the wild, so even if they know you well, they will likely keep their spot a mystery. They wouldn’t want to visit their spot and find it picked clean.
But, as a new morel hunter, there are some tips on places to look. For whatever reason, they tend to grow in areas that were burned the previous year. Searching in a recent burn is a great way to get your feet wet and figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
Additionally, morels tend to grow in cottonwood forests, under elms and by rivers. Once you find one, you will likely find more.Unfortunately, the growth of morels are a bit perplexing and difficult to find which adds to the reward when you do find them.
How To Identify
You could be looking in all the right places, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for then you won’t get very far. Below are a few tips to positively identify a morel:
- Honeycomb-like cap with brown pits and ridges
- The cap is fully attached to the stem and doesn’t pop off
- If you slice the mushroom in half, it will be hollow inside
The are a couple morel lookalikes in the area that you will want to keep a lookout for when morel hunting as these mushrooms are poisonous:
Brain Mushroom – The cap of this mushroom is more or less convoluted, round & brain like which come in various shades or brown to reddish brown. The difference between this mushroom and a morel is that the Brain Mushroom doesn’t have a honeycomb like cap. These mushrooms grow at the same time and in the same habitat as a true morel.
- Hooded False Morel – The cap is brown and saddle shaped, it starts out smooth but becomes more convoluted/wrinkled as it matures. So, this mushroom also doesn’t have a honeycomb like cap either. It also grows at the same time and in the same habitat as a true morel.
Both of these morels grow in north Idaho and are poisonous. They can cause adverse physically reactions within 1-24 hours of ingestion and I would advise avoiding at all costs.
When To Look
The basic answer is spring time, so late April-early May. But that all depends on the year, elevation and temperature. Morels like warm soil, so you will likely find them in the lower elevations earlier in the year and higher elevations later on. Morel season could last up to 2 months. The best time to look is on a sunny day, after a rainstorm.
How To Pick, Process, Cook And Preserve
Like it was stated earlier, morels grow mostly in the wild. So you want to be sure to pick them correctly to allow for them to grow next year. Be sure to pinch or cut them at the base. Do not pull them up or remove the root ball. Additionally, carry them out with a woven basket or mesh bag. This allows for them to release and spread spores. Do not use a plastic bag which not only stops the spread of spores but it also makes your mushrooms get slimy quick.
Once you get your mushrooms home you want to be sure to immediately get them processed. First, get them washed. There are a couple schools of thought regarding washing a mushroom. You could just brush off any dirt and inspect for worms/pests. Not using water because that could cause the mushroom to soak it up and dilute the flavor. Or, you could soak them in salt water overnight to get rid of any worms/pests.
To prepare the mushrooms, they do need to be cooked. They taste the best when harvested at just the right time and cooked shortly after they are picked. These mushrooms are choice, highly priced and sought after so be sure to take your time and research the best way to prepare the mushroom to enhance the flavor. Click here for some resources I’ve found.
If you don’t plan to eat them right away, it’s best to store them in a brown paper bag on your counter for no more than a few days. Or, if you’d like to preserve them for longer, you could always dry them. You could use a dehydrator to do this or just thread them on a string and let it dry in an area that is hot, dry and with a slight breeze.
Other Mushrooms To Lookout For
There are many edible mushrooms in North Idaho, some show in spring and some grow in fall. It’s best to do your research to determine what’s edible and how to harvest and cook these mushrooms. Click here for a quick list of some edible mushrooms in North Idaho, and how to identify them.
Here are some gorgeous pictures of some wild mushrooms taken right here in our national forests:
North Idaho is B-E-A-U-tiful and its known for its mountains, lakes and abundant beauty. Its also known for it’s snow! There is plenty to know about snow and here are some resources to tap into that will keep you informed and prepared.
In Coeur d’Alene the average amount of snow that falls is 42 inches, comparing that to the rest of the country with only 28 inches. Keeping in mind, the farther North you go, the more snow you will see. With Spirit Lake receiving approximately 52 inches a year and Sandpoint with 61 inches. December is typically the heaviest snowfall month with an average of 11.7 inches, and second heaviest is January with 10.4 inches.
But when?? You might hear horror stories of winters in North Idaho lasting half the year, and that’s not exactly wrong. Snow in our area can start as early as November. Unless you were here the record breaking year of 2019 when we received 1.1 inches of snow on September 29th, the most in September’s history. Before that, the last time the snow fell in September was in 1926 with 1 inch of snow. But, on average, you will typically see snow in November and it could last through April.
This is all just averages, there’s no telling exactly what the North Idaho winters will do! That means we need to be ready for everything.
The Coeur d’Alene Police Department offers FREE winter driving classes. They typically begin in October and go through early December. If you’re new to driving in the snow or would like a refresher, check on the specific dates when the time comes next year.
Knowing how to drive in the snow is just part of it, you want to be sure your vehicle is ready for the snow as well. Check out our blog North Winter Driving Preparation for detailed information.
Our home is another thing we need to prepare when winter comes. Our website is always a great resource for this. Check out our Fall & Winter Home Maintenance page to prepare for winter and our blog 6 Overlooked Winterizing Tasks.
Since North Idaho is used to getting so much snow, we are more than prepared when it comes! We have both the expertise and practice on our side! Check out the detailed information on Coeur d’Alene’s snow plan here. The City of Coeur d’Alene’s website also goes into detail on the Snow and Ice Control Operations and also has a map that shows you which roads are completed, getting worked on and getting worked on next. Check out the links below for snow information in your city:
Our blog post mention earlier, North Winter Driving Preparation, also has tips on how to drive in the snow. There are many other resources on the post, such as what to do in an emergency and a video which offers additional recommendations and visuals to help with winter driving.
Snow in North Idaho, although requires much work and preparation, is also fun! We have so many area ski resorts near Coeur d’Alene, check them all out with information about the mountain on our website here under the Area Information tab. And these resorts always have events to enjoy, check them out on our blog post Snow Much Fun! Be sure to check our What’s Happening page for the events happening in the area at all times, it’s updated regularly!
Also, take a look at our Winter category on our blog post here, which has all things winter!
FOR MORE ON SNOW FROM OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Many enjoy Labor Day as a day off from work and the last bit of fun before summer ends. Many forget what it is we are celebrating… it was first created by the labor movement and is dedicated to the contributions and achievements of American workers. That day is set aside for the American worker to have a day of rest and to remember the importance of worker’s rights.
During the Industrial Revolution, many people were required to work 12 hour work days for 7 days a week just to make ends meet. In the late 1800’s, labor unions then became more active. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest the unfair wages, work environment and hours.
September 5th 1882 was the first Labor Day celebration. Many workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. 12 years later, on June 26th 1994, the American Railroad Union called to boycott all Pullman Railway cars. This caused a crippling of railroad traffic nationwide. To break this strike, the government sent troops to Chicago. This only caused a wave of riots and deaths of many workers. In an attempt to repair ties with the American workers, congress passed the act to make Labor Day a legal holiday. And on June 28th 1994, President Cleveland signed it into law.
Even after all this time, it is still unclear who the founder of the holiday is. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, the co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, as the first to suggest it. But, many believe that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, was the first to propose the holiday.
Labor Day Celebrations & Traditions
The Labor Day celebration has transformed a bit over the years. When it was first celebrated, the focus was on a parade. This was meant to show to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” and then a festival to follow. As time went on, speeches by prominent people were introduced.
In recent years, the celebrations have really began to change. As parades have become ever more difficult in city centers, the day has focused more on relaxing and having fun before summer is over and kids are back to school.
A common Labor Day celebration in North Idaho is Fall Fest! at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. It’s a weekend filled with beer, wine, cider, live music, and a soda tent for the kids.
Many of us here in North Idaho use this last weekend of summer for family camping trips out in the National Forest. More about our National Forests
Boating on the lake is a special favorite of ours on this last weekend. Taking in all the sunshine we can and enjoying live on the lake before kids go back to school and we prepare for fall. More about Lake Coeur d’Alene
Others like to take advantage of all of the downtown events to choose from or just a weekend of shopping! Downtown CDA
No matter how you choose to celebrate Labor Day, enjoy your day off!
Coeur d’Alene never ceases to amaze us. Not only do we get to enjoy the obvious beauty and all the lovely people who live here, but our Lake City offers so many other benefits! Like Theater!! But not just any Theater… Aspire Community Theatre.
Great Local Entertainment
Aspire Community Theatre (ACT) is unlike any other. How, you may ask? To start, they are a completely non-profit run organization with experienced theatrical artists in charge. It’s a community theater, staffed 100% by volunteers, yet working at a professional level. As a result, you can count on exceptional and entertaining performances each and every time.
Aspire was founded because many parents of children in theater were unable to find other options once their children graduated. Their only other option was acting at a professional level. Creating this theater was a way they could continue to learn and expand their acting abilities right here at home. Aspire is a conservatory theatre, which means, the students will learning through out each production because they are involved in each aspect of the production. Aspire incorporates a wide a wide range of groups and ages to keep things lively. Plus, they “not only develop artists, but theater enthusiasts through education and exposure”.
Aspire’s mission “is to enrich, entertain and educate our community through exceptional live theater which inspires the imagination and provokes contemplation of truth. Our goal is to honor, reflect and collaborate with the greater community we serve, creating leaders for the future, as we form partnerships today.” And they do just that!
Courtesy of the Coeur d’Alene Press
A Gift To The Community
Theater is a gift – for both the audience and artists and with 600 season ticket holders it seems like our community agrees. Bringing together experienced theatrical artists combined with young talent and community leaders; Aspire is determined to improve the lives of not only the artists and productions but this community. They provide a venue “For the next generation of characters”. Because of their local success, they are the only theater in the pacific northwest playing Mama Mia! First show is February 8th.
John and Tracey Chime In
“Our first Aspire experience was for “Catch Me If You Can”. We were intrigued when they said it would be a MUSICAL! We loved the movie and were so interested in seeing how it could be made as a musical. Aspire took that movie to a whole new level as a musical play. We loved it! Above all, it was so creative and a throughly enjoyable performance. We laughed and enjoyed every minute of it. Aspire offers a diverse and multi-faceted mixture of talent we have not seen in community theater. If you are looking for a great entertaining evening, go to a performance. Finally, Mamma Mia would make a wonderful treat for your Valentine!
John and Tracey Tindall
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Happening in February
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Contact us for special ticket discounts!!
Visit Aspire here! Check out the upcoming shows and learn organization, donate, sponsor and volunteer.
Calling all Foodies!! One of the fastest growing food industries is coming to our own backyard. Food Trucks! The speed, convenience, quality and price is enough to draw a crowd to the up and coming food truck pavilion in Coeur d’Alene.
A Great Idea Hatched
The owners of Premier Auction Center in Post Falls teamed up with the owners of the Jitterz Espresso franchise and hatched this great idea. Our area’s next food truck court will have just about everything! That includes 13 food vendors, a Jitterz Coffee stand, 39 parking spots with a large eating pavilion. “Prairie Pavilion” will be located at 7777 Heartland Drive and plans to be open by the spring of 2019.
Good For Your Tummy and Our Economy
It’ll be great for the consumer as well as helpful to our economy. Food Trucks and the food truck community invest into our local economy and they do so by creating jobs and help recharge underdeveloped areas. One may think they could be hurtful to the brick-and-mortar restaurants. Just the opposite, because food trucks draw patrons to the area which increases the amount of foot traffic to other restaurants and surrounding businesses. Not to mention, restaurants are opening food trucks of their own to keep up with the growing trend. Plus, food truck businesses are required to pay all the same taxes as other restaurants and this generate thousands in tax revenue for the city.
The owners say it’ll be a “happening spot where busy businesspeople can swing through for a quick bite, as well as a welcoming environment where everyone can enjoy a relaxing meal.” That will just be the start! Additional plans are “getting kicked around” about making this spot a cornerstone of the community. Possibly having farmer’s markets and music shows available alongside the pavillion. Overall, Prairie Pavilion will be a great spot for everyone and it’ll be right in our backyard!
John and Tracey Chime In
“We have enjoyed some pretty wonderful food from food trucks here in Coeur d’Alene and in other cities. Dining from a truck will surprise you because you just can’t imagine such amazing and sometimes gourmet food can be cooked up and served from a truck, but it does! We love this idea and how it brings a new layer and flavor to our area”. John and Tracey Tindall
Credit: https://www.cdapress.com/local_news/20190110/street_eats_coming_to_north_coeur_dalene?fbclid=IwAR2H7ELzQOXwSfsRIstFa7UaWw54hje8gnI6donQbybM1uu_jjEZtdFos70 & http://www.dmvfta.org/food-truck-facts
Now that it is nearly summer in Northern Idaho, you can almost hear a collective sigh of relief across the Panhandle. The sun is out, flowers are blooming and we can finally head downtown to Coeur d’Alene’s wonderful farmers market! John and I have always felt personal conviction to buy local and to support our community and what better way than going out to meet the faces behind all the hard work?
Just a short trip down town to 5th street and you’ll find dozens of tents full of color and aromas that will make you soar. Last year we bought some rare herbs for the garden at one of the local vendors and I was relieved to find that they are back again this year.
You’re also likely to find one or two dairies, some fresh made stone-fired pizza and handmade soaps and countless other crafts but my Granddaughter’s favorite is the strawberry ice cream that Sweet Peaks is selling. Sweet Peaks has been doing the farmers market for a while now, but are just opening up a food truck on 4th & Best Ave. They make all of their ice cream right on the spot with liquid nitrogen. It was really nice finally having ice cream that tasted like both cream and strawberries (real ones).
We hope you get out to the next one and make your own adventure like we did!
Downtown: Wednesdays 4pm-7
5th & Sherman
Hayden: Saturdays 9am-1:30
Hwy 95 & Prairie
Tax time again and a mound of documents and not sure what to do with it all?
Hopefully you made it through another tax season and found all of your documents needed to file your return. Now, what documents do you need to keep and which ones should you toss? Here’s a little guideline which will help you with clearing out the old paperwork, but not throwing away anything that you might need later.
What to keep and what to toss?
John and Tracey Tindall
208-818-2365 or 2456
Is this a good time to sell?
Here is your housing snapshot for January 2017 showing an increase of 10% in median home prices and time on market down 5% in Kootenai County. If you are a seller who is on the fence about putting your home on the market, this snapshot is a good indication that this might be a very good time for you to sell your home.
A market offering higher median home prices, shorter closing time frames and less inventory will give sellers who decide to list now have some real advantages especially this time of year.
Listing your home before the masses who wait for better weather in April and May can give you the edge for success. Low inventory combined with a large number of qualified buyers creates competition for your listing. Many buyers have already lost out on another home and these buyers are ready to pounce once your listing hits the MLS. Homes that are show ready and priced right are garnering multiple offers at full price and often offers over full price!
If you would like to be kept up to date on the market or know more about selling your home or the value of your home, contact us and we will be happy to provide you with a customized market analysis.
John and Tracey Your Professional Agents 208-818-2365 John email@example.com 208-818-2456 Tracey firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.johnandtracey.com
Summertime in North Idaho and our market remains Healthy!
Have any questions about buying or selling? Wondering if its the right time for you? Contact us and lets discuss it and let us provide you all the information you need to make an informed decision to move forward or to wait. We are here to help!
Your Professional Agents
208-818-2365 John email@example.com
208-818-2456 Tracey firstname.lastname@example.org