Yesterday after work I took a lap around my woodlot with Penny and found that the trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) is coming along nicely.

Trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens)

Trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens)


So far that’s the only thing in bloom in my woods at ground level. The red maples are still going, but I think they’re on their last hurrah.

I made my way around to the front of the house and saw these:

Grandma's Irises

Grandma's Irises


I had forgotten about them. I dug them up at my parents house last summer and replanted them here. I was thinking these were my Grandma’s irises, but they could also be my Dad’s day lilies. Or they could be both, I’m just not sure. I’ll surely know later this year when they get bigger and possibly even bloom.

The photo is nothing to write about though. The sun had already gone down by the time I found them, so I set the camera on a rock and jacked the exposure time up to a quarter second. Meh.

I went for a walk today during lunch. I walked my usual route but in the reverse direction. Right outside the office I stopped where there’s a stand of curly dock (Rumex crispus). I wasn’t hungry (having just eaten), but it looked good, so I harvested a couple of mouthfuls and quickly gobbled them down. They are very tasty at this stage. I didn’t think to take a picture, but maybe I will again tomorrow.

I continued my walk and stopped by a sugar maple to see how it was coming along. At first I didn’t see anything green on it, but upon closer inspection:

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)


I expect it will be in bloom tomorrow.

My walk took my behind some department stores and along the railroad tracks. There were a lot of dandelions in bloom.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)


I ate one of the blossoms. To me, that is the only part of a dandelion that is even remotely palatable. Other people rave about them and crave them, but I just don’t get that. Samuel Thayer (in my opinion the best writer on the topic of edible wild plants) writes that the crowns are good and has a long discussion on that in Natures Garden. So I tried one. It’s not terrible, but I don’t think I could stand to eat an entire serving of them.

Other people near here have been reporting (and photographing and blogging about) finding a lot of other plants that I think I should be seeing – but don’t yet. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) and Japenese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) are the primary ones I’m interested in. Coltsfoot because I think it’s a cool looking plant. Knotweed because I want to eat some. In fact, if I can manage it, I’d like to decimate the stand of knotweed near my house by eating as much of it as I can. It’s an invasive alien, and I happen to know that this particular stand has already crowded out at least one native plant – Fringed loosestrife Lysimachia ciliata. Realistically, I don’t think it’s possible for me to single-handedly eat down an entire colony of Janpanese knotweed, but I’d like to give it the old college try anyhow. It tastes pretty OK!