First Signs of Spring

The trees have new baby buds on them, the Tiger Lilies are pushing green shoots through the ground, and the Bittercress is flowering!!  We were blessed with a glorious gentle spring-like day yesterday and I spent several hours outside looking for signs of new life.  I was certainly not disappointed.

Tiger Lily photo

Tiger Lilies waking up photo

Bittercress photo

Flowering Bittercress photo

There is not a lot happening on the ground yet, but the trees are waking up for sure.  Tree medicine was calling my name.  I went outside with intentions of locating a birch tree.  There were none of those that I could find, but I did see lots of Cottonwood, Beech, and Oaks, plus several others I couldn’t identify just yet.  I’ll have to wait for the leaves to come in to get some more clues to their identity.

I also found numerous Alders growing along side the stream, which I’m particularly excited about since I was just reading about some of its healing properties on Kiva Rose’s herbal blog here and here.

Alder catkins and cones photo

Alder catkins and cones photo

I’m going back out today to collect some of its catkins, cones, and twigs for an alcohol tincture and an oil.

While I was exploring, I also took along a rake and cleared a little trail through the forest down to the stream.  Last time I took a walk in the forest, I was very frightened of stepping on snakes because of all the leaf debris and fallen logs.  So now that I have a walking path, I can go all the way through to the stream without that worry.  I also plan to clear several other paths over the next few weeks.  One going from the stream to the creek, and another on the opposite side of the stream that will take me through to the other side of the wooded area that adjoins the meadow.

Forest path photo

Path through the forest photo

I also want to clear a small area right by the stream for a picnic table, and maybe a hammock.   I have visions of lazy summer afternoons with my nose buried in a book, swinging in the hammock.  Or fun picnics with the grandchildren, afterwards catching salamanders and ooohing and ahhing over all the fascinating gifts of nature.  What bliss!

We’ve lived here a little over 2 years and I’ve never explored the forest yet.  My wildcrafting has been focused on the grassy meadows and lawn.  Now that I’ll have easier access, I’m very anxious to see what grows in the wooded areas this spring and summer.

Yesterday all I saw were the usual trees and mosses, plus carpets upon carpets of Running Cedar.  Look for more posts on the forest flora and fauna as the season progresses!

Today will be another beautiful day so I’ll be working outside again getting my garden ready for colder weather vegetables, like peas and salad greens.  I’m trying a new (to me) method of gardening this year.  It’s called “no-till” and promises to be a less labor intensive, more sustainable, and better-for-the-soil way of growing vegetables.  More on that in my next post…

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