North Woods, Central Park
So here is a new thing:
I will lead a wild flavors walk in the teeth of winter, on New Year's Day, 2016.
(A whole month from now - collective gasp. Yes, next year is one month away.)
We have seen a year of global surprises and sorrow. A New Year's Day walk is a clean, cold and wild way to begin 2016.
Cattails - Typha spp, at the Harlem Meer
I should add that walking in the cold has never bothered me. This is why we have clothes, after all, but I know it's not for everyone.
If there is snow, all the better, but it can't be promised.
North Woods Frigid Forage
1 January 2016
1pm - 3pm
What will we see? you ask, with raised eyebrows.
We will see fragrant spicebush, whose twigs are packed with flavor in cold weather. We will see the skeletons of Japanese knotweed and the ghosts of pokeweeds past, whose luscious edible spring shoots will emerge 14 weeks later.
Pokeweed - Phytolacca americana
We will see the shadow of Cornelian cherries and sumac silhouettes, and serviceberry trees. We will find furry wineberry canes and rigid catbriar.
All in the waiting winter landscape that makes possible the temperate explosion of spring.
The same route will be repeated in late April - the contrast is stunning.
Jetbead - Rhodotypos scandens, not for eating
We will only cancel this walk in the event of a bona fide blizzard. As usual confirmation emails will be sent out in the week before the walk, with last-minute weather or MTA updates on the morning of, if bad weather is looming and a transport shutdown imminent.
Needless to say, dress for the weather. The snack will be warm, in the form of a hot, wild-inspired soup.
We meet at 1pm sharp on the SW corner of Central Park North and Lenox Avenue, under the empty gingko tree.