Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Plants


I am going to start my days earlier now with the warmer weather and earlier light.

I don't often get to the creek in the morning, but I did on Sunday and the colors and sunlight was delightful.
We however need rain!

In 2009 I started really 'getting' into identifying the plants that came up in the woods. The first year was quite a journey. At any opportunity I could I was out walking about with my little pocket camera trying to photograph a plant coming up in the woods and then using a book or an internet search to find and ID that plant.
I made it into a project and even recorded when and where I found the plant emerging. Dates, hillsides, conditions, and the time of year.

I haven't really stopped doing that. I just find it so interesting.
After the flood of 2016, I've noticed a huge influx of an invasive species that is pretty nasty.

Garlic Mustard


I pluck them as I see them when walking through our creek bottom. But I see them invading the neighbor's land too. Too many to pluck on a casual walk.

It only took a few years for the Parsnip plant to overtake the valley, but I am still fighting the good fight on our land.
In the spring I hunt parsnip and dig them up.
The large ones come home with me and I stir fry them.

Parsnip emerging...


There are some other wonderful plants that start to come up now too.
Ramps~


I harvest some from this patch each year but never over harvest it. This year I may gather enough to dehydrate. That way I can have some wild leeks in my soups and stews this next winter.

I found these cowslips growing in Tainter Hollow not far from where the Trout Lilys should come up this week if we get some rain.



These plants get quite large and are native but can be mistaken often for other plants. A golden rod is coming up next to the cowslip.

One of my spring favorites is the May Flower or May Apple. As a kid I called it the Umbrella Plant. Much more descriptive I think!
Someone said you could eat these. I'm not sure but I prefer the morel mushroom that comes a bit later in the season.


I have so many spring favorites. I should just say, that they are ALL my favorite wild plants!

This is the Dutchman Breech plant. The wild version. Each year I can find it on certain hillside emerging with their feathery leaves.
They blossom and then...poof...
gone!



Have you ever had a wild strawberry? They are worth all the effort of picking them. I never pick them and save them in a pail, but pick them and eat them as a refreshing snack while walking through the woods in June.
I found this plant growing on a mossy rock in the middle of the creek.


Charlie is going to go on an expedition with me to hunt for some blood roots and hepatica.
Dixie tends to sit on me when I am crouched down to take a photo of a tiny plant. She also seems to step on the plants I am trying to photograph, especially the tiny ones. She can't help it..she is so big!

The woods are so dry right now!

Rain is forecast for this evening and the next 36 hours after that so one can cross their fingers and hope for just the right amount of it.

I do need to get out and clear more brush and work on the 'back' fence too.
All in good time I guess. I see the garden is doing very well with sprouting weeds.

Ahhh, seems my work is never done!


1 comment:

  1. I love the spring plants...we have nothing showing up yet. Buds are swelling on trees...I used to keep track of many plants...I have a list someplace:)

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