TL;DR [Too long; didn’t read] Skiing, Neva, Colorado, 20 years, mushrooms, and huckleberries.

2017 was a year for great finds. Jeremy detected some space lasers in the center of our galaxy and co-authored a paper on discovering a nearly naked black hole 2.2 billion light years away. Closer to home, we unearthed a new (to us) edible mushroom right out our front door and located several other super secret mushroom spots and huckleberry patches. We spent the year exploring more of our own backyard while learning to work with and train Neva. Please enjoy a small selection of photos from our 2017.

Note: NEVER eat any wild mushroom if you are not 100% sure it is edible. Many wild edible mushrooms have poisonous look-alikes that can cause stomach upset, organ damage, organ failure, or death. To learn more about foraging mushrooms, contact your local mycological society.

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The view from our yard in Crested Butte. Also, snow can’t read. (January)

Jeremy dives into a secret powder stash. (January – Crested Butte)

Celebrating 20 years of nuptial adventures in Steamboat Springs. (March)

This year, we introduced Neva to skate skiing on the dog-friendly Nordic trails in Crested Butte. She loves snow and loves to run, so this is as good as it gets. With skis on, Jeremy can finally keep up with her. (March)

We got a new dog! Neva went away to school for two weeks, and Neva 2.0 came home making eye contact, listening to our words, and learning to focus through her excitement and anxieties. Most importantly, we were reprogrammed on how to work with and understand Neva. It’s a continuing daily exercise, but everyone is much happier thanks to our most excellent dog trainer. (March – Nederland)

Jeremy gets some backcountry laps on a rare calm and snowy day in the Front Range.
(April – Indian Peaks Wilderness)

Test driving Neva 2.0 on a backcountry ski. She is better about avoiding the skis and now knows right from left. Jeremy still has to think about it. (April – Roosevelt National Forest)

We kicked off mushroom season a few weeks early by driving down from the mountains to forage on the flatlands. Oyster mushrooms growing in close proximity to poison ivy. (April – undisclosed location)

Afternoon thunderstorms often bring dramatic yet fleeting displays of mammatus clouds to the neighborhood. (May – Crested Butte)

We had a banner season for black morels once we found the motherlode. Left: Things you find on the ground at the right time in the right place. Right: The first of many hauls. (June – undisclosed locations)

Spring thaw in the mountains! Neva swam several times before we smelled the stink of anaerobic bog water on her. Best. Day. Ever. (June – Indian Peaks Wilderness)

A sun pillar marks the O-Be-Joyful valley during a signature sunset-thunderstorm combo. Apropos. (June – Crested Butte)

Phlox with a filling factor of unity. (June – Crested Butte)

Lupine with canis. Washington Gulch erupting in greens and purples. (July – Crested Butte)

Neva’s best impression of a wildflower in the ephemeral potpourri. (July – Indian Peaks Wilderness)

We have a complicated relationship with trail running, but it’s amazing when you find the top. Jen at 11,400 feet. No altercations with ptarmigans (this time). (July – Niwot Ridge World Heritage Site)

It’s all about the (orange) ball. (August – Crested Butte)

Putting pattern recognition to good use since 2012. The chanterelle season had a promising start that ended in a fizzle, but the kings (porcini) were off the hook! Left: Jeremy’s trophy shot from one fine day (chanterelles and kings). Right: Jen caresses Arturo, a flawless one-pounder. (August – undisclosed locations)

Our rain-kissed mountains rewarded visitors with diverse and colorful carpets of wildflowers into late summer. (August – Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness)

Sunset plus virga equals double rainbow awesomeness. (August – Crested Butte)

Our consolation prize for a dud chanterelle season was finding our first matsutakes (pine mushrooms). They open while still completely underground, which makes the finding all the harder… and more exciting. Left: Jeremy field dresses a freshly excavated matsutake. Right: Matsutakes smell of pine, red hots (the candy), and earth. (September – undisclosed locations)

Of all the precious mountain berries in the Rockies, the diminutive huckleberry is the best. We monitor the progress of the huckleberry patches throughout the summer and spend countless backbreaking hours picking these purple orbs as autumn colors light up the landscape. Left: Tiny berries on tiny plants that typically go unnoticed. Right: Huckleberry plants turn brilliant shades in late summer. (September – undisclosed locations)

On the last day of summer, we were in full-on autumn. Jeremy and Neva hike under the golden glow of the aspen stands. (September – Roosevelt National Forest)

Sun and shadows race across a hillside of aspens. (September – Gunnison National Forest)

A painterly sunset with crescent moon over Tennessee Mountain (October – Nederland)

Neva’s training never ends: the start of an overnight backpack into new-to-us wilderness. She was so much better on this trip than the last one. Making progress! (October – Eagles Nest Wilderness)

Waiting for the snow. (October – Nederland)

Here is to a healthy, happy new year!

with love,

Jen, Jeremy, and Neva

Have a gander at how we cooked up our wild food on The 2017 Cutting Room Floor.

past years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005