Another Perfectly Perfect Spring Day

The deep green of ostrich ferns, a.k.a. the fiddlehead (which is a misleading term as all ferns emerge as fiddleheads), is a remarkable and telling clue as to the identity of this edible plant.  The deep channel in the plant on the right (like celery) is another key clue, as are the papery scales that often fall off and the lack of any fuzz.

The deep green of ostrich ferns, a.k.a. the fiddlehead (which is a misleading term as all ferns emerge as fiddleheads), is a remarkable and telling clue as to the identity of this edible plant. The deep channel in the plant on the right (like celery) is another key clue, as are the papery scales that often fall off and the lack of any fuzz.

Another perfect day comes and goes. Daphne and I slept under the covered deck last night to the music of the flowing brook, the soughing of the breeze in the evergreen boughs, the songs of coyotes and the cool light of stars. Dawn came and breakfast was fresh duck eggs and bacon. Under clear skies we made a supply run for tools, a few foodstuffs, then we got back to discover the first of this year’s eggs had hatched. Along the way we saw several woodchucks. The largest squirrel, I am always fascinated and amused by them. The duckling is dried now and sleeping in a nearby box, and his siblings will probably hatch within a week. After a late lunch of tacos, we measured the Firefly Brook for the water ram though I think I will postpone building it for a while due to the sheer cost of setup–about a $1000. The expense is mainly in the feeder pipe, a good 100 feet of costly 3″ diameter ABS pipe, another 100 feet of 2″ flex pipe, and various joiners. It’ll just have to wait til other priorities are out of the way. Daphne and I set out at the end of the day to the secret place in the forest I harvest ostrich ferns (a.k.a. fiddleheads), and found a bonanza, including a vast section of fern crowns a little deeper in the woods that I had not previously discovered. The ferns had emerged over the last week and were thick, tender, dark green and sweet. We harvested several sacks and will go back there next week when the other half of the crowns germinate and harvest another couple sacks. Our asparagus and hosta are just starting to come in so we are well set for fresh veggies for a long time now, especially with all the wild lettuce, dandelion, dock and shamrock also emerging in the meadows and forest. I have a feeling it will be a great year for gardening and wild foraging. Going to finally trim horse hooves tomorrow, saddle Aval and ride out to the Rusalka Wood, then hike up to the Old Wood and check for oyster mushrooms and dryad saddles, and also finish clearing the barn and til the gardens. With any luck, by Monday we’ll have our potatoes planted. Normally we do all this over a busy but modestly paced two months starting in April but the severe winter has given us need to compress all the spring prep into just this month.

 
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