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