There are many things I love about our home in the Pacific Northwest. I could wax poetic for days on the merits of our craggy mountains, grey-green oceans, piney forests, and the blazingly verdant moss that covers it all. Anyone who has lived in this region for over a year can tell you that our summers are unsurpassed, but the colder months are a long, hard slog characterized by leaden skies and a damp cold that cuts right to the bone. This can be a deal-breaker for the uninitiated. We Northwesterners are hospitable, but admittedly take some time in accepting those tender, sun-warmed outsiders into our ranks. Perhaps this is because it is only once they see past the grey, and even grow a bit of moss themselves (on the north side, naturally), can they appreciate our region’s natural treasures as much as we do.
It is in these grey fall months that edible gold springs up on our forest’s floor. The Northwest is a wonderland of edible funghi. Case in point, our family’s latest harvest of white and gold chanterelles, and a massive cauliflower mushroom (seen below broken down for washing).
I would be remiss in lauding the treasures of the PNW without mentioning one of our most recognizable wonders. Orcas, or Killer Whales if you will (I won’t), are inextricable from the character of our oceans. Residents of our coastal regions will enjoy bearing witness to their visits on a regular basis. Below, you can also enjoy a recent visit by a large pod as they hunt for salmon off the shores of Vashon Island. (Don’t let the less than stellar music deter you.)