On those first hot summer nights, when fireflies float like will-o-the-wisps and bright elder blossoms can be seen by moonlight, a magical event unfolds. For about a week out of every year, for millions of years, a mysterious and ephemeral insect has crawled from the primordial ooze beneath the dark water to break free from its aquatic form, grow into another being with wings and dance in the nightsky before death. This dramatic display is the courtship and final moments of the Giant Mayfly, Hexagenia limbata, most commonly called the “Hex.” I’m told this name is nothing more that a shortened version of the Latin, but it is clear there is something more to it: just go eavesdrop in any flyshop in mid-June and the spellbinding nature of this hatch will be obvious. The obsession of many flyfishers with this one insect can easily be described as a curse, or hex, especially by those who work the nightshift and the hundreds who don’t live near the prime haunts of this mayfly and must travel to the cool clean rivers of Northern Michigan.
WHY EAT WILD?
"In wildness is the preservation of the world." -H.D. Thoreau
Why eat from the wild? The answer is obvious to anyone who has felt the emotional uplift from the weight of a basket brimming with morel mushrooms, the earthy-sweet scent of digging Sassafras roots, or the heavy pulsing of a fish testing the limits of your fly rod.
There are a million reasons to eat wild, to get dirty, to taste fresh food. It is here where we connect to the Earth, our Ancestral past, immediate present and hope for a healthy future...
"Nothing else can build such awareness as surely and powerfully as practicing the ancient ecological art of humankind - foraging. It is not observation of, but rather participation in the phenomena of Nature that brings us to our greatest understanding of our place in the mosaic of life."
-Samuel Thayer The Forager's Harvest