Or, maybe the title should be just pooting around the farm, trying to find ways to keep from doing what I should be doing. Like cleaning up antiques. Antiques are dirty business - stored away in the barn and covered in dirt and dust. Add pricing to that and ugh...
So I decided to go looking for morel mushrooms. They are only around for a week or two at Easter. Every year I traipse through our fifty acre wood, right where they are supposed to grow - amongst the Mayapples growing by downed and decaying trees.
I have never found one. Nada. The deer or other animals must get to them first. I did see a patch of grass neatly cropped off by a set of teeth and little holes dug in the dirt. And I got two ticks on my thigh for my trouble.
Mayapples begin their growth in February, not May. They stand about 12 inches high off the woodland floor.
They produce a flower with a sort of mild citrusy honeysuckle scent.
Then comes the apple. It will grow to about nickel size. I watched a program where three young men were on a campout. They gathered the fruit from Mayapples, cut them up and along with sugar and cream, they put the mixture in a can. They put that can inside a larger coffee can with salt and ice and taped the whole thing up. After playing kick the can for a while, they opened it all up and voila, Mayapple ice cream. I thought that was very clever.
Though I found no morels, I picked up these tree galls. Wasps sting trees and the tree produces galls. I don't know what for. Interesting part is that the galls used to be made into a sepia colored ink that was used by Abraham Lincoln and many others. In the Outlander books, the author talked of making ink from tree galls.
Beside the Mayapples, this tiny flower, about the size of forget-me-nots covers the lawns here first thing in spring. And since I am wont to do so, here is one of my favorite stanzas from a poem by Wordsworth - Ode. And sorry to him for explaining in parentheses one of his words.
"Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,
To me the meanest (smallest) flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."
I can do many things trying not to do that which I should be doing.