Saturday, 2 June 2018

A pretty spring hike

Today we took a break from gardening.   We went out for lunch, did some running around for small errands and stopped at a small conservation area just outside of town.  The trails are manicured.  They are an easy walk and bike trail.  The bikers were all polite, which was nice.   I've run across a couple of rude people who expect you to hear them coming up behind you and swear when you don't.   If they just ring their little bell, I know to move aside to give them room to pass!  At anyrate, it's an easy walk especially since I needed my cane, and it was oh so pretty this year.

May has been warm, with a lot of unseasonably mild weather.  It's been like summer heat and the flora has been responding appropriately.   First, leaves and early flowers had to catch up due to the lingering winter.  Now it's like they got into overdrive and haven't stopped.     This Queen Anne's Lace is about a month early.  It was in full bloom, lining both sides of the trail.   It was lush and tall and simply beautiful.   The Dame's Rocket was peeking through with splashes of pink and purple for contrast.
There were some interesting mushrooms and fungi around, including these shelf fungi.   I'd have loved to pick some and try dyeing with them.  Not only is this a conservation area, and I wouldn't pick them here, but I don't know the toxicity of this variety, so wouldn't take that risk unless I did some research.                                   I really wish I'd had my big camera with me but I've gotten out of the habit of carrying it with me, so I only had my dying phone, which doesn't focus quite the way I'm happy with.   Regardless, it is a poor photographer who blames her equipment but still, the camera focus is hit or miss so I feel pretty lucky that it decided to mainly hit for this hike.

It was a nice break from shifting dirt and scooting around on the ground, planting things.   A few places were almost fairy tale in appearance, with breaks in the sunshine and flowers which seemed to go on and on forever.   There were ducks and geese in the creek, hawks and vultures overhead and very few bugs.  I know if we were to head out there in the evening, we'd be eaten alive by monster mosquitoes this year.

One thing I noticed was the nettles.  There were nettles everywhere.   I've been dithering about trying my hand at harvesting and processing nettles to try and spin them.    I've got two patches in the garden.   I can probably call on a friend or two and harvest theirs.   If this place wasn't a conservation area, I'd get armloads and have a go at processing nettles.  Who knows, maybe I'll find another patch or two locally and armed with heavy gloves, jeans and long sleeves I'll get my chance.

1 comment:

Woolly Bits said...

I went out today (just the normal road to town) and everything was white with flowers! unfortunately with insects, too - I had to keep my mouth closed while cycling or I'd have ended up eating them:( I had planned a dyeing session with those white umbels, I think it's "meadow chervil" (translated from the german common name:), so probably will give yellows and greens with iron. but it's just too warm to keep a large pot with something stewing in the kitchen:) and if you're short of nettles you could always come over and cut ours, plenty of that about:) I just have to watch out for those with caterpillars on, I don't want to rob their food....
but now I have to plant my "pickings" - there was a stall with some lovely herbs and hanging basket plants at the summer festival - couldn't resist:) and I think I already have to re-pot the madder plants, they grow like mad(der)- pun intended:)