Yesterday I took Penny for a walk to Sandogardy Pond. It was a fairly warm day.

Chair in the Woods

Chair in the Woods


This chair has been in this spot in the woods for at least as long as we have lived here. When I saw it yesterday, I thought I would take a picture, as it reminded me of the album cover for “A Farewell to Kings.” All it lacks is a puppet king sitting on it.

While we were out, I could see where I had walked with my snowshoes a few weeks ago. The snow around the tracks has mostly melted, but the tear-shaped tracks are still there:

Snowshoe Tracks

Snowshoe Tracks

When we got to the creek I saw something green. Upon closer inspection, I was able to recognize it as Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)


This is a wild edible plant, but if you wait too long, the flavor becomes way too strong. It tastes very much like garlic. I ate a couple of these, and then picked all the rest.

It’s not usually a good idea to wipe out a stand of a wild edible plant, but in this case, it is actually a great idea. Garlic Mustard is an invasive alien, and if it were to gain a foothold in these woods, pretty soon it would establish a monoculture. Then these woods would no longer support any of the native herbs that grow there: wintergreen, jack-in-the-pulpit, several ferns, etc. All we would have would be garlic mustard.

I bagged it up and stuffed it in my pocket.

After school I was scheduled to take two of my Pathfinders on a field trip. We drove around Concord to assess the needs of the community. We were on the lookout for homeless people, unmaintained property, etc. While I had them in the car, I offered them some Garlic Mustard. They all tried it, but one kid liked it quite a lot. He asked if he could have some, so I told him to take as much as he wanted. He took half. When he got home, he fed it to his parents – neither of whom liked it. But he liked it OK, so maybe he can eat it out of existence wherever he finds it.

This stuff is probably best when added to soup or some other recipe. On its own, it is very potent, even when picked this early in the year.

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