- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A mild winter and warm spring and summer has brought huckleberry season earlier than usual.

The Spokesman-Review reports (https://bit.ly/1MjIel4 ) that pickers have been spotted on Inland Northwest slopes in droves. The dark blue berry is typically found above 4,000 feet in elevation, but patches of the fruit have been spotted at lower elevations including around Priest Lake in Idaho.

Officials say the early season isn’t all good news, as dry areas exposed to sun and heat are not producing many berries.

Author Asta Bowen, who wrote a book about huckleberries, says the thin snowpack this year should give the berries a more intense flavor since they received less water.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort is scheduled to hold its annual huckleberry festival Aug. 2 and Priest Lake had its festival Sunday.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, https://www.spokesman.com


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