Two different world views, you might sayAugust 12th, 2018 at 8:36:09 am
Just identified that I have wood sorrel growing in my unpoisoned yard. I thought it was a type of clover, but it has yellow flowers. Ran across two different ways to look at this:
"Woodsorrel can easily take over a lawn and it's important you remove it before it sets seed. Try to remove it in winter, when it's dormant. Mowing is ineffective because the plant can still grow and set seeds because it's low-growing. Pull dormant plants out of the ground and then dig or till the area to break up the roots. Repeat this whenever you see new seedlings. You will have to patch the lawn after you've removed the woodsorrel. If you mow a lawn with seeds from this plant, rinse your mower before using it on another piece of lawn that does not have the weed.
If you decide to use a chemical, [blah blah blah]"
"Wood sorrel is an incredible thirst quencher and is refreshing to eat. The leaves, flowers, and immature green seed pods are all edible having a mild sour flavour that some say resemble lemons. Wood sorrel can be added to salads, used in soups, sauces and it can also be used as a seasoning. Wood sorrel tea when cooled can make a refreshing beverage especially when sweetened with honey. In moderate dosages, wood sorrel is cooling (refrigerant, febrifuge), diuretic, stomachic (soothing to the stomach, relieves indigestion), astringent, and catalytic."
From my own perspective, I'd love for this plant to [nearly] take over my yard. For the height it currently is, I see no need to mow it. I usually don't mow clover patches, but they need to dominate so they aren't half filled with grass. This one really fits the bill for that. And guess what? I'm going with the ediblewildfood.com folks and their view of things.
first image from second link above
next image a picture I took with the cell phone
The White Man's Footprint - Delicious?June 25th, 2018 at 6:20:14 am
My successes as a forager are spotty, as my previous post about mushrooms admits. One area I've done pretty well with, though, is encouraging wild greens to grow in my unpoisoned yard. If you want to imitate that*, your first sign of success is a healthy proportion of dandelions. If you've got them coming on [and live in my general area], look next for wild onions, dock, and this white man's footprint, supposedly so-named by our aborigines because it sprang up wherever white settlers showed up.
Yes, it is an invasive plant, sometimes also called the 'driveway weed' and indeed I have a healthy patch of it on the edges of my driveway where it is gravel. I won't use it there, as some of the advice out there is to never forage near vehicle exhaust zones - plants pickup the bad stuff on roadsides etc.
If you want to promote it, it should be called 'the plantain herb' - I would have done that but it is more fun to run the other names past the reader. The above site makes some nice claims, "itís super nutritious, easy to identify, has no poisonous look-alikes and it is used as medicine"
For wild greens, I almost exclusively use them cooked. As I say, checking into this one is new for me. I'll let you know how it goes.
*as a percentage of readers, that probably rivals the chances of 18 yo's in a row
Morel FrustrationMay 10th, 2018 at 5:23:16 am
For years now I have hoped to be able to add Morel mushrooms to the list of things I forage for. But I am so far foiled again this year; one of the things "they" say is to look at a place that's had a forest fire. Bingo! one near me took place in a state wildlife management area. This is the second Spring since it burned so this year I was checking it out even more carefully, but 'no luck'. I did mistakenly think they would be coming out late this year due to a cold Spring - apparently they are unaffected by that - and so I looked most intensely after the season had already started. On the other hand, it is supposed to be still going on for a while, I'll still be looking .
Seems to me I should have had success by now. It seems to be one of those things you can't learn from articles etc., you have to find somebody who knows where to look and learn from them. Being a forager, I look constantly at what is growing everywhere I go outdoors, and I swear by now you'd think I would have spotted some just by accident if nothing else.
Here is a list of things about them:
*I fear eating wild mushrooms, and would never think it was safe to think you've identified *most* mushrooms correctly without an expert to confirm it. The scariest part is you can eat poison mushrooms and feel just fine ... till a few days later when you then get sick, and could die.
*Morels are an exception: they are distinctive enough that foragers, though warned, only need to be somewhat careful. There is such a thing as a False Morel that you are not supposed to eat, but it apparently is not as dangerous as all that. In some places they eat them apparently due to less toxicity locally and for the exact species. It doesn't really look all that close to the same, so just having a pamphlet or a look at an article is enough to avoid it.
*Additionally, the Morel seems to be the only mushroom that comes out that early in the year. As for my own experience, during the peak season I see no mushrooms at all, whatsoever, of any kind coming out of the ground; even the types growing on dead trees look like last year's remnants. The False Morel season might overlap a bit, being deemed a spring/summer grower while the Morel is early Spring mostly. In that early period it seems the real Morel will be what you see if you see any [I'm trying to confirm that]. I have come across False Morels later in Spring [yep I can find those].
Our Current Clue VariantNovember 21st, 2017 at 3:13:20 am
Miplet's custom weapons/suspects/rooms distributor will be key
*the boardgame rules are the 2002 rules as there is a pdf file for them, see below. We have used these rules except as noted below.
*In a new variant, players solve suspect, weapon, room, and day of the week.
*Additionally, there are more secret passages. Such a passage exists now in our variant between rooms opposite each other, with a passage between Dining Room and Library but none connected to Billiard Room. Also, there are no passages between adjacent rooms etc.
*no dice, instead players move from one spot to another by declaring their move. A forum thread will be used for play and comments.
*We do not bid for which character we will play, this is chosen in a random process.
*The order of turns goes clockwise along the official board starting with Miss Scarlet as per the board game rules.
*In order that each person gets the full compliment of cards, none getting extra cards, dummy players will be used as needed. These will only say if they can or cannot disprove a statement. They donít move or make suggestions. Thus there will always be 6 players, including these dummies. This all possible thanks to Miplet.
*When someone makes a suggestion, Miplet's software is used and it nicely handles the disproving [or the confirmation] - this is done automatically but follows official rules.
*Play will stop when a person who is not present is supposed to take his turn... "what to do" in the event of someone failing to continue play? ... any 'official' way was dropped and there was never a case of intolerable suspension once we had Miplet's software, but it seems now by vote we can change the player to a 'dummy' if necessary.
*Once a player takes his turn , the results are to be posted in the thread.
*We don't use dice to move. To start the game a player begins in the corridor directly across from where situated on the perimeter. Miplet brilliantly realized this is all easier to understand if the corridor is placed outside as a circle around the rooms. A move of a piece down the corridor to get to rooms goes clockwise or counterclockwise, the only shortcuts being the secret passages. Otherwise a player moves from one "step" [in lieu of a better word] to the next adjacent step in corridor moves and can move 2 steps. Alternatively, a player could move one step and into a room if starting the move in the corridor or from the initial game-start position. Moving out of a room means moving out one step and then one more step can be achieved, but not a room since two steps in the corridor are thus taken. A player can just take one step if desired, but cannot step back into a room just vacated. Once in the room a suggestion and accusation can be made all as one turn.
*in the boardgame it makes no sense to move down the corridor if an accusation was intended, however using the Miplet app a player has to move before he can accuse. Note that sometimes a player's only move is "out of the room" so this need to move in the corridor at times, even on a move with an accusation, now eliminates a rule we had prior to using the Miplet app.
* a move into a room always ends the player's turn, after any suggestion. An accusation ends the player's participation, becoming winner or loser [the Miplet app takes over for answering suggestions]
*There is only one door to each room in this version.
*The doors cannot be blocked.
*For an accusation, as opposed to a suggestion, the player need not be in the room, or any room. It only needs to be the player's turn. I mention this as I have seen this misunderstood.
Link below is a pdf file for the boardgame rules [as a reference] as of 2002 below. Of course we will play with the above necessary modifications [or whatever is agreed on].
BBB's printable detective notepads: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1CcsLnUGEQpQ1BVdUhiX1FOVDg/view?usp=sharing
Snakes and SpidersSeptember 4th, 2017 at 3:23:24 am
I wonder sometimes about 'experts" and the stuff they tell people.
They always say snakes "are more scared of you than you of them" and not to worry about the cowards, just let them get away from you.
The other day I watched a program about a guy picking berries who got bit by a big timber rattler. He is an old timer with old attitudes and talks about how evil the snake was; he shot it and said he did a good thing, the monster won't bite anyone else. The man got lucky or would have died of course. Now, I can hear the experts saying the guy's feelings were ridiculous, the snake isn't evil, just struck because it was defending itself. But I did ask myself just why that creature had to resort to that? A rabbit, mouse, deer, squirrel, any bonafide prey animal would have been long gone merely at the guy's approach.
We have a spider I see on our deck once in a while that is mean looking, it actually has claws on it that look like a lobster's. Some kind of hunting spider; I've never seen a big one, though, just little small guys, which makes it a joke. But I notice if you chase it away, it readily turns around and threatens whatever object you are chasing it with. Too funny, but where does that come from?
These kinds of creatures have an instinct other animals don't have - they know they can make other animals back off. When I was a kid I always killed any snake or spider I saw ... I am more live-and-let-live now.
Yesterday I was hiking in the woods and came upon about a 2 foot long snake laying across the trail. It seemed to be some kind of garter snake, and I instantly knew it was not a poisonous snake. I stopped and looked at it, but it was not taking advantage of its opportunity to skedaddle. I took my walking stick and encouraged it to move on, and was quite surprised to see it still be reluctant to go; it then shocked me by biting the stick! I used the stick to sort of pick it up and get it off the trail, at which point it moved a few feet and curled up, agitated and saying in snake talk "you want a piece of me, huh, huh!!?" Remarkable. There are certainly predators who would want to eat that snake, I thought the behavior was strange. No, I didn't kill it.
So I checked out snakes of Virginia on the internet, and indeed it seems to be the Eastern Gartersnake. From the description I eliminated the other possibilities, as those candidates are said to never bite, but the Gartersnake will, it says, if "molested". "Juveniles especially will perform this behavior and will strike so forcefully that they may completely leave the ground."
Wouldn't the snake be better served by fleeing instantly? At least readily move off the trail even if it was ready to turn around and defend itself? Why would it have an instinct to fight, to seem aggressive even? I just say snakes and such potentially have that instinct that comes from "they can make other animals back off". Just from their looks; it is an instinct to have some caution about snakes and spiders and, remarkably, even non-poisonous varieties retain in some instances an instinct to defend themselves in a way that is similar to aggression, as this proves.