Monday, February 28, 2011

Calendar: Looking for Spring (Mar. 1-6)

I've been craving mushrooms this week. I think it's part of an itching for spring. But morels, which kick off the mushrooming year, won't be up for another six weeks yet. In the meantime, I made myself a big batch of stroganoff with store-bought mushrooms.

Viola pedata
Photo credit: squamatologist
And I'm hoping to make it to the monthly meeting of the Mycological Association of Washington tomorrow (Tuesday) night in Kensington. Dr. Lauraine Hawkins, a biology professor at Penn State, will give an illustrated talk about her work for the National Park Service inventorying the wide variety of mushrooms present from Pennsylvania to Northern Virginia, and their critical ecological interrelationships.

Sunday afternoon, look for signs of spring at Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna, where there will be a guided walk through their native plant collection. We've seen one birdsfoot violet blooming, and there's a chance of spring beauties and maybe some other early spring ephemerals if you're lucky.

And Sunday evening, you can look for woodcocks at Jug Bay. It's one of the most remarkable displays you'll ever see: at dusk, the male woodcock flies high in the air until it looks like just a speck, then drops all the way back down to the ground, spiraling and whistling.

There's always plenty more on our calendar. Enjoy!