Thursday, April 17, 2014

A wild spring walk, after snow

I crunched to the subway on a layer of ice. It had rained, then snowed, then frozen in the night. In the woods the snow still lay in the lee of trees and logs, where it melted fast when the sun touched it.

The Dicentra cucullaria had opened and were just lightly battered by the unusual weather.

Below. This is my year of learning (more) trees: buck eye?

Horse chestnut?

Lovely spicebush (Lindera benzoin), everywhere.

The sky above was clear blue.

Precisely one violet had opened.

Robins sang and a woodpecker worked. I saw two joggers and two walkers. And one man, planting things. I wondered about that, for a bit. He did not want to be disturbed.

More day liles than anyone could ever eat, below. They have taken over. No indigenous spring ephemerals up here. 

I braked hard: nettles! And yes, they do sting. A lot.

My old friend jewel weed (the fat seedlings, below) really did help with the stinging. I rubbed my hands till they were green. And then it stopped. Placebo?

I rounded the wide corner and there was the mighty Hudson. It was much colder on this side.

My collection, unpacked at home. To be worked on, today.

Clockwise from L: field garlic (Allium vineale), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), 1 lurking dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum/Fallopia japonica), dock (Rumex sp), and nettles (Urtica dioica). The flowers are lesser celandine (Ficaria verna).

All invasive plants, bar the nettles.

The menu for a dinner tomorrow night will employ all of these vegetables, bar the lesser celendine. It is still evolving (the menu, I mean), starting with today's batch of sourdough boules, which will contribute to some wild greens bruschetta, tomorrow. I suppose a field garlic boule is a bit much?


  1. Why a bit much? What's not to love about garlic bread?

  2. Perhaps your solitary plantsman was re-introducing natives?

    1. I suspect the opposite. Introducing aliens :/


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