|Looking out from the haybarn|
|Randy enjoying a Black Birch (Betula lenta) chew stick|
Apple trees and unique ornamentals - unknown to me- can be seen lining old pathways, however, the landscape is largely overgrown. Blackberry and Barberry now dominate, along with a host of wild lettuces, tall grasses, and dried stalks of wintering plants. This landscape is probably abuzz with insect life in the spring and summer when blossoms are popping. Although now quiet and entering slumber, this earth still offered some bright plant life...
|Yellow Foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora)|
|Yellow Foxglove (Digitalis grandiflora) flowers up-close|
|Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)|
|Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)|
Finally, here is an easy plant to identify that can be gathered in abundance and easily enjoyed as a wild edible. Meet Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella), a member of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae). This plant can be found growing from between rocks, hugging the base of trees, throughout old farm fields, along the edges of roads, and anywhere soil seems thin and dry and available. Notice the two lobes at the base of each leaf, making it appear like a lamb's head with its ears sticking out to either side. It has a strong lemony flavor and makes a nice addition to salads, sandwiches and soups.
As we wandered further from the buildings, following the old carriage road as it wound up and around a steep hillside and into open woods, we paralleled stonewalls which led periodically into old clearings and crumbling foundations. We came to a swamp, the overflow of a nearby pond, catching a Bald Eagle as it flew between standing wood from dead trees whose bases had been gnawed away by resident beavers to the shape of hour-glasses. And with the sun beginning to dip below the treetops, we decided to call it a day, turning round and heading back to the farm. Thank you Zimmerman Farm.