Photos, Plants and People and other Wildlife 2010
Here are some photos from previous foraging forays, and remember THIS IS NOT TO BE USED FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES! There are many poisonous look-alikes that can easily be confused by the untrained.
Ahh, springtime! A Forager's Breakfast no doubt. Chaga mushroom tea, Wild Leeks, Farm fresh eggs, Venison and of course, Morel Mushrooms! With spring comes the urge to cover vast amounts of ground just taking in the new warmth, smelling the fresh thawed earth and all the while keeping a keen eye out for the elusive morel.
But remember to take in your surroundings or you may become lost! For some of us, getting lost isn't half as bad as missing out on some of the wondrous things spring is presenting to us. Many tromp right pass dramatic displays of Nature and ignore it's hidden beauty in an obsessive and narrow search for a single spring ephemeral: the Morel...
Here's just a few amazing things we've found while Morel hunting in the Spring of '09:
Above: A Yellow-Billed Cukoo Nest in a Red-Berried Elder Thicket. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo spends it's winters in South America and is declining severely, as are many birds. This elusive bird is heard much more than it is seen. A favorite folk-name of mine is the Rain Crow.
Bufo americanus, the American Toad. Seen here with Gaelicus bufophyle, or the Irish toad-lover.
Most folks round these parts stop foraging once Morel season is over. A shame? Maybe. More for us? Sure, that's one way to look at it. Especially if you don't mind your bountiful foraging grounds turned into a cornfieild or a parking lot of cars with bumperstickers reading "No Farms No Food". Most people think the only wild food worth harvesting is venison or Morels - everything else is just WEEDS...
And thats where WEEDS comes in! Wild Edibles For Ecological Dietary Sustainability!
Here are some more pictures from other forays and adventures:
Swamp Tea (Ledum groenlandicum aka Rhododendron groenlandicum)
Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum). A Rare treat and a very complex orchid. Did you know that Vanilla comes from the fruit of an Orchid - a relative of our Lady's Slippers? (not edible)
Oyster Mushrooms! (Pleurotus ostreatus) one of the more sought-after mushrooms, often adorning dead and dying Aspens like funeral wreaths.
An Osprey, or Fish Eagle. These often are seen 'kiting' or hovering with wings swiftly beating while the body says stationary over water. They are watching fish keenly when doing this and if you are patient, you may catch them tucking in their wings and diving under water after them!
The following are pictures from our Autumberry Harvest. Thanks to Doug and Linda from Raven's Roost Farm in Bellaire for sharing their Invasive Bounty!!
Autumnberries, better known as Autumn Olive (Elaegnus umbellata) are an invasive shrub introduced from Asia to North America. The bane of habitat restoration workers, this shrub can completely choke out a prairie. But few know that it's fruit is edible! They ripen in the early fall and we'll be out picking as many as we can handle. The kids LOVE them! Elke's mom made fruit leather from the berries the kids didn't shove into their mouths raw.
We'll update more soon. Keep an eye out for the following spring 2011 forays:
1. Maple Sugaring!!!
2. Wild Parsnip Diggin
3. Wild Greens and Salad Foraging
4. From Pest to Pesto: Garlic Mustard