Spring in the Woods
There is nothing quite like the woods in spring. There is still the quiet hush of winter, broken by the chirp of birds, and the crisp spring breeze rustling the last of the fall leaves, swaying the tops of the trees, making them creak and brush against each other. It makes you want to whisper and watch. We recently went home to help clean up a few fallen trees, and had the joy of watching the woods wake up from winter.
The greatest thing I take away from the woods is nothing I have foraged, but rather the ability to listen and watch it grow. I know, it sounds a bit odd, but taking the time to listen and see what is happening around you in the woods can give you an idea of what to search for, what to watch grow and the subtle shifts that may go unnoticed. We often had to watch the woods to know what trees needed care, where morels may be hiding, or where an animal may be making a home.
I by no means am a forager. I grew up understanding what was growing around me, knowing what berries and mushrooms to eat and not to eat, and how to care for the woods and not do harm. By foraging, I mainly mean I wish to find unique pieces of the woods that are ok taking to create and make with. As far as eating what I find, I am extremely cautious, and stick to things that are for sure ok to enjoy.
So why include foraging on Acre? There is so much left unexplored in nature, the woods especially. I grew up with the woods as my playground, and now as an adult, I want to protect, preserve and create with it. I have so much to learn, and am so excited to share what I learn as I explore foraging.
Now that spring is officially here, I am most excited about watching some of my favorite woodland plants make their appearance. As a kid, each one of these plants held a certain wonder.
A Jack-in-the-puplit plant has to be my favorite. This crazy plant actually has a ‘hood’ that covers the center of the plant. As a kid, I love to find these and lift up the hood to check on ‘Jack’ in his ‘pulpit.’ A close second is the bloody nose plant – I know, such an awful name, but once you see it you understand why. The plant has a deep maroon red bloom, and uniquely patterned leaves. It is so eye catching, standing out against the other forest foliage. Lastly, the sticky plant was a bit of a prank plant when we were kids. Sticky plant grows on the ground kind of like a vine, and the whole plant is exceptionally sticky. We would pick pieces of it and place it on each other’s backs, holding in giggles as we walked through the woods until the clingy ride-a-long was discovered.
There are so many other plants I love in the woods, and as they make their appearance I hope to share more with you. I am so thrilled to share the joy of the woods on Acre. I do have projects using foraged items coming soon, and I am so excited to learn how to preserve and create with these beautiful woods I grew up in.