Sunday, April 24, 2016

Making excuses

To get out of the yard and into the woods.

Hubby decided to take his afternoon nap.  I nodded and said that I'd go look for some wild parsnip to dig down by the creek. I gathered a bucket, a shovel, and off I went.  Morris stayed home although I should have taken him with.

It was a good excuse to go wandering in the woods with my camera.  I found some really beautiful things.


Spring Beauties
The Spring Beauties were really abundant on the north east side of the hill not far down from the top of the ridge.  Of course I had to stop and look at them.  These plants are no more than a few inches tall and the flowers are smaller than a pencil eraser.

I walked further down the trail and then stopped and looked back at the top.  I sat down on the 'sitting' rock and decided to just sit for a moment and listen to the sounds of the forest.

I heard the Cardinal singing, off in the distance a Bluejay called. There were the regulars like the Sparrows, and the Robins had been in the forest for a while now.
I listened closely and off in the distance I could hear a Wood Thrush. There is nothing more beautiful than the Wood Thrush's echoing in the woods.  Just my personal opinion.
Hear it here:

The Trail view from the sitting rock, looking towards the ridge.

I grabbed my shovel and bucket and headed down the steep hill noting how dry everything looked and how crunchy the leaves were under my feet.  Even the squirrels sounded noisy as they chattered and ran.

I wandered around the creek bottom and stopped here and there with the shovel to remove some pesky plants that were coming up.  Wild Parsnip, although tasty are not plants that you want to get involved with in mid summer.  It's juices will give you a “phyto-photodermatitis”, which happens when the sap of the plant, from broken stems and leaves, touches the skin and is exposed to ultraviolet light (whether cloudy or sunny).
 Source: Wild Parsnips.

I don't want these plants in the areas that the kids and grand kids will hike with me.  We often go to an area called 'The Beach' which has very a very nice area of sand and the creek bottom is sandy as well.  It is withing hiking distance and makes for a fun place to cool off in the summer.
This is as bad as getting into poison ivy in my opinion or even worse.

Near 'The Beach'

The good thing is that the roots are tasty and edible.  I love cooking them flavored in pesto sauce.  It takes work, but it is well worth the taste.

When I got to 'The Beach', I found Horsetails coming up through the sand with wild parsnip.  

Horsetails, Mare Tail, Scour Reed, Pipes

I dropped the bucket and got to work, looking for some nice sized parsnip roots.

Nice sized roots got tossed into the creek so I could wash the sand off from them, others got carefully laid out on logs so the would dry up and die.  I stayed for quite a while digging and just being busy.  I was enjoying myself and thinking of hot summer days and dangling my barefeet into the cold creek.

I noticed as I started back towards home that it seemed time had gotten away from me.
The creek is so magical that I tend to get lost while there.  Lost in thoughts, memories, and the beauty that surrounds me.


However, I had the Val Barbie with me and thought I'd best get a shot of her and Doe for the next part of The Doe Story.


Val Barbie holds Doe close and gives her a hug.  Doe promises to come back to her friends before her birthday.  Something special will happen on that day assures Val Barbie.  "You must be with friends!"
Doe agrees.

However...


...all stories need a villain and here is the Villain Fox who overhears the conversation.  I think he plans on something evil.

Well I got home and back to reality.  I finished putting the mulch around the pine trees near the house and decided that I needed to go back to town and get some more.

I wonder what excuse I can make for getting out in the woods today?





4 comments:

The Dancing Donkey said...

Those are just the places I love to get lost in as well, it is very good for the soul. It is interesting how your area has so many of the same things we do and at the same time. The Spring Beauties are just coming out here as well.

Older and wiser said...

Beautiful nature! I see why you feel the need to escape to it! Thanks for the info on wild parsnips. I love knowing that kind of stuff. (BTW, I couldn't get the wood thrush link to work. Bummer!)

Val Ewing said...

I think I fixed it Older and Wiser!

Lori Skoog said...

The woods looks so peaceful. Thanks for the tip about the parsnips. Your photos are gorgeous!