Lost in Wonderland

Naked Spring Trees

I ventured over to the llama farm to see what there is to see. I noted the peppermint which is legendary in it’s delightful potency, the ground ivy in full bloom, young yarrow leaves, hops hopping the fence, beebalm about 4 inches high lining the stream bank at one point, plenty of plantain, lots of burdock rosettes, an alarming number of poison hemlock or water hemlock (not sure which)… the usual suspects. Discovered a few newbies Sand Cherry trees and Japanese Knotweed.

I watched a youtube video on Japanese Knotweed and it’s plan to take over the world. It is considered such a menace with it’s aggressive mannerisms (growing 3 meters by the end of Spring, 4 foot lateral rhizomes and up to 3 feet deep root systems…) In disposing of this voracious ‘weed’ large backhoes are employed and the roots systems are required by law (in England) to be sealed in 50 gallon drums before being put in a land fill. Even a piece of root the size of a fingernail would replenish the excavated site to it’s former stronghold. Yikes. So I’m not transplanting a piece of that root to my little acre, I’ll visit it from afar! I harvested lots of the young stalks and hope to use it for future Wild Feast desserts. I also learned that the Japanese Knotweed ROOT is one of the most powerful herbal weapons in combating Lyme disease so I plan on digging up some of the root to tincture.

Japanese Knotweed early Spring shoots

Back to my adventure.

I forgot to mention that my faithful furball Skipper was with me, in high form as the llama farm is one of his favorite foraging spots, he likes to terrorize the pig and tries herding the chickens.

Skipper looking for Morels

I took pics of many of the young Spring plants and then we headed into the woods in search of Morels.

Unsuccessful in finding them I did find much to fill my basket. Solomon Seal root, Trillium root, Fiddlehead ferns (which I parboiled and froze for later use), Stinging Nettle, Violet leaves and flowers, Mayapples (these are not edible but they are so magical looking, they look like fairy umbrellas), Skunk cabbage (has anyone ever been hungry enough to eat these?), Ramps, Wild onion, Bloodroot, Chickweed, Cleavers, Wild Geranium, Pine catkins and lots of mystery plants…

I kept looking for Morels, hiked far and wide often sitting on a rock to just stare at the dead Autumn leaves blanketing the forest floor hoping to see a Morel poking it’s sneaky head through to the sunshine.

I found an old road cut into the forest which of course I had to follow to see where it led, so I hiked far into the afternoon with my basket increasing in weight and treasures. Finally turned around to retrace our steps back to the bubbling brook where Skipper submerged his hot furry collie body under it’s cooling flow and drank. Instead of drinking from the stream I just munched on Violet leaves which have a surprising manner of quenching thirst.

The weather was perfection, saw not a living soul save for my puppy and the farm animals. A fruitless search for Morels but a wealth of other treasures were secured along with making yet another green memory.

Wild Blessings abound!

Rose, Skippers llama friend

Pine catkins


Trillium erectum Fairy umbrellas on the forest floor

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