So We Left the Tree Zoo for a Night…

I’ll let you in on a secret: I've been complicit in my own kidnapping every father’s day for the last seven years. Regardless of how busy the landscaping season is, we ditch the City of Trees (AKA the tree zoo) and head to the mountains to see the real thing- the “real thing’ in this instance being an actual forest that doesn’t require my help to sustain it.*   

I ran feral in an eastern hardwood forest as a young child, so I’m always a little surprised to find myself surprised to see a self-sustaining forest.  Boise is a great place to live, but by the middle of June the foothills have already lost their brief, verdant veil and begin to don an increasingly washed out, brown aspect.

What a difference 60 miles and several thousand feet of elevation can make.

The old Forest Service guard house we lovingly refer to as our “time share”,  sits next to Beaver Creek about 30 miles north of Idaho City. Hiking east along Beaver Creek will connect you to the Crooked River trail system and more wild trees than you can shake a stick at. And not just trees but shrubs, grasses and forbes with nary a drip emitter to be seen!

The very underutilized Buckwheat (Eriogonum).

Perennial geranium

Wild heuchera happily anchored in a granite outcrop.

Color. Texture. Form.

When I combined sedum & heuchera in this project, a friend remarked how odd they thought this combination was.  Ha!

First time I've seen this wild clematis. I definitely need to find out more about this plant!

Yep, that's a landscaper's hand.

Back to Boise.

*   Full disclosure/laborious backstory: When I was MUCH younger, I rappelled out of helicopters to suppress fires in an effort to “sustain” the forest. This wasn’t too long after Yellowstone had erupted into an enormous bonfire. Debate still rages on in regards to proper “forest management”, but for the sake of the story can we just forget about life in the so called Anthropocene? Please?