Brambly Trail

Brambly TrailThe trail I walk so easily in winter and spring is a tangle of brambles at this time of year.  Yesterday was hot and humid – what better day to walk a brambly trail?  I would be hot and sticky even if I just sat on the porch.  And after all, a cool shower would feel so good after a tramp through the woods.  So, even though my legs were begging for shorts and my feet for sandles, I donned long pants and hiking boots for the protection they would offer and headed up to the woods behind Bergman Park.

Click here to see a path in these woods from last winter. It’ll cool you off on a hot summer day!

It was quite fun to see what had happened over the last few months to the spring and early summer flowers.  Here’s a Mayapple blossom taken on May 13, and the fruit I found last night.

Mayapple Blossom - May 13     May Apple Fruit - August 6

There are so many fruits in these woods, I’m tempted to try making Mayapple jelly.  It makes me nervous, though, when I read in Peterson’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants that ONLY the RIPE fruit is edible – all other parts, including the seeds, are poisnous.  Have any of you tried eating the Mayapple fruit?

False Solomon’s Seal berries are apparently edible, too, though “mildly cathartic.”  These aren’t quite ripe, as they will get to be ruby red.

False Solomon's Seal - May 16   False Solomon's Seal Berries - August 6

White Baneberry is quite poisonous.  A few berries can cause dizziness and vomiting.

White Baneberry May 21   White Baneberry - August 6

The bulb of Wild Leeks or Ramps can be dug all year round.  It’s easier to find them when the plant is visible.  You’ll find leaves in spring.  At this time of year, the flowers are turning to seed heads.

The Leeks are Up - March 30   Leek Blossom Closeup - August 6

I’ve eaten wild leeks.  But some of these others, with their strange warnings or recommended methods of cooking kinda scare me off.  What wild edibles have you been daring enough to try?

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3 thoughts on “Brambly Trail

  1. Just found your blog via “Body, Soul and Spirit”. Love your pictures and your accountings. We have some of the same plants here … on the other side of the continent.

  2. These closeups are lit perfectly–esp. the may apple and leeks!
    Have you ever thought of doing a seasonal series on just one spot–the exact shot, taken at different times of the year? Your photos and eye are wonderful, and you seem to have access to some lovely areas.
    There’s a farmer’s field at the end of our lane–we see it in fog, fully planted in tall corn, frozen in winter–and keep thinking we should record it before he sells to developers. It’s just asking for a picture!
    Wild edibles? Blueberries in Maine. Otherwise, I don’t take the risk. I’m not sure enough of what I see.

  3. Pingback: Before and After « A Passion for Nature

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