Monday, April 1, 2013

Things to Look For in April

This time of year is one of our busiest times: Matt's landscaping business is in full swing, our own garden is plenty of work, and there are so many things we want to look for in the wild! What are you seeing out there lately? Leave us a comment!

a passion for morels
Morels by It's Greg
Morel season usually starts in early April and goes for several weeks.

GARLIC MUSTARD Alliaria petiolata
Photo credit: natural history man
Sometimes when we're looking for morels I give up and start pulling out invasive garlic mustard instead. It makes me feel like I'm at least getting something useful done, and every once in a while this strategy has even uncovered a mushroom for me. Check out the recipe for garlic mustard pesto in the comments to our previous post -- it has become a spring staple in our house.
bear corn
Bear corn by The Natural Capital
Bear corn often catches my eye at morel season as it emerges, because it's about the same size and general shape as a morel -- but it's not a mushroom, it's a parasitic plant.
dogwood (ハナミズキ) #3421
Photo credit: Nemo's great uncle
Dogwoods also tend to have a similar season to morels. In fact, when they start blooming is when we really start looking in earnest for mushrooms. But there's a lot to look at in the dogwoods themselves.
Photo credit: dancing nomad
And then there are the bluebells. William Cullina says of bluebells , "As best I can determine, Mertensias are not plants at all, but delicate clumps of sky, thinly disguised and sent here for a few weeks each year to bring us earth-bound folks briefly closer to heaven." There are some patches still holding on out there -- this week may be your last week to catch any of these lovely flowers.

Earth from Galileo (NASA)
Speaking of earth-bound, Earth Day is April 22. It's hard to look for the big-picture earth while you're standing on it, but our post has a way to feel the earth move.

What have you been seeing out there lately? We'd love to hear about it. Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page!