Thursday, March 6, 2014

Is it winter or spring?

I am not ever certain that the ground hog knows what season it is.  We seem to enjoy wonderful spring weather and then, without so much as a boo, the winter winds blow and chill our bones.  Nevertheless, there are some spring edibles up and available.

Last week I found some delicious oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus).  To say they were delicious is an understatement.  They do not even compare with the cultivated variety.  Their flavor is more intense and the flesh considerably more meaty than the grocery store variety. Thus, if you have a chance to go foraging with a mushroom expert, by all means, don't miss out on this variety, assuming you can find them.  You can find a lovely recipe as well as a photograph of this incredible delictable at:      http://www.naturealmanac.com/archive/mushrooms/mushroom_soup.html

As though mushrooms aren't enough there are several greens that have also reared their heads.  As you might expect the henbit, pellitory, chickweed, sheep sorrel,  and sonchusc are up and awaiting your thinning touch.  The best place to check this out is in public parks rather than state or national parks where the weeds are usually few and far between.  Another good location is out in the country where there is waste land to wander.

It is bird season.  The Sandhill Cranes have been migrating through Georgia from Valdosta through Marietta and on through Bartow County and into Tennessee.  You can hear them over head as they sing the entire route.  It is an event that I anticipate every spring and fall.

The Bald Eagles have hatched one egg out of two up at Berry College.  If you haven't had a chance, check out their eaglecam and you can bear witness to the beauty of life.  Both the "mother and father" tend to this chick and have been sitting on the nest since January 14th when the first egg was laid.  You will note that there are assorted buffet items in the nest...a coot or two, a fish head, and who knows what else.  This eaglet will be well fed and groomed for flight perhaps by April.  Check it out.  http://www.berry.edu/eaglecam/

And finally, this is the mating season of almost all birds.  In particular, you can hear them calling out on your morning walk or in the late afternoon.  These are generally the songs which will attract a mate and will change with the seasons.  It is one of my favorite times of the year to listen.  In my own yard I can hear the Brown Headed Titmouse, the Eastern Towhee, Robins, Woodpeckers, Cardinals and Bluebirds... just to mention a few.  Soon the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks will be in town along with a host of warblers; so check it out.

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