Tag Archives: ostrich fern fiddleheads

Fiddleheads, fireweed and wintercress

18 May

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Back to a small stream I noticed some nice Chaga mushrooms near a few weeks ago and today the ostrich fern fiddleheads on the stream bank were  a good size for gathering.

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Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is another plant which may be at its tastiest when it is just barely visible. If you are interested in this plant’s shoots and live in the Maritimes note the location of the large beds of showy flowers in July and much later return for the spring shoots usually in early May.

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In grassy areas these small Fireweed shoots are a good challenge to see.

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Here are a couple of Wintercress plants (Barbarea vulgaris), these leaves are a bit chewed up and probably survived under the snow from Dec to May. These plants look like they could bolt any second now and should be showing some yellow flowers on foot long stalks by early June. Some consider the stalk and unopened buds of wintercress its best edible parts.

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More healthy looking birch trees with prime chaga mushrooms around this small stream, another hot spot. ciao

Maritime spring colors

4 May

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small round leafed salicornia sprouts and a few other salt marsh annuals under last year’s salicornia stems. You will need to click on the photo to notice the tiny salicornia sprouts

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Not much greenery around the Phragmites though tan and light brown look good as well.

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Way over my head in last summer’s Phragmites stems, some of these are 10 ft plus, this plant is one I  will be visiting a few times this spring and summer to explore its edible parts.

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Leaving the marsh for higher ground a groundhog appears cooperative for a photo.

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Inland a few miles along a small stream we see a few ostrich fern fiddleheads taking off their copper colored spring coats on this warm day.

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Orpine is also popping up on the stream’s floodplain.

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A small trip to remember especially with this huge chaga mushroom and pleasant view on the way back through the forest.  This chaga looks to be around 8 lbs and the birch tree it is on is still in good shape with plenty of new buds on its branches, this mushroom is one I may return for in a winter or 2. ciao

 

 

 

 

 

Ostrich ferns on the floodplain

17 May

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Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) at this stage in its growth this fern is considered unsafe to eat. Usually there will still be some younger plants suitable for eating as you move away from the water’s edge into shader areas often covered by last years layer of tall grass.

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Here are some young edible (when cooked) Ostrich fern fiddleheads which  actually were the first wild plant I started to gather back in the late 70s as it was the only wild food local grocery stores in the surrounding small towns in my area were very eager to buy. In those days I would usually gather around 500 lbs of fiddleheads starting around mid May and ending a few days before June.

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Another patch of almost full grown Ostrich ferns which again are now inedible but the green plants under the ferns are an interesting edible plant known as Trout-lily.

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A closer look  at Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum), these plants have already lost their early blooming yellow flowers and a seed head has formed as you can see. Here is some more info on the Trout-lily from White Wolf’s  YouTube video if you are interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kgO-k-P26A

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Lastly here is the plant I actually came to this area to find today, as I’m looking for some seeds from some of last years stems to grow some tender young leaves. You’ve all seen this plant or its smaller relative around, below is a photo of one of the old last year stems, you may need to click on the photo to enlarge to notice the seed heads, it is a bit of an eye test. I’ll do a post on this plant a little later on..

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