I found this beautiful picture of an artichoke plant in full bloom. I realized how far removed we often are from the foods we enjoy. Did you know what a artichoke plant looks like? I've been fortunate to harvest a wildcrafted artichoke once or twice, but I just thought I'd post a few pictures.
I did some mushroom hunting over the weekend. Was hoping to find some morels and black trumpets. Unfortunately all I found were some devil's urns and some fiddlehead ferns.
The devil's urn is not a choice mushroom, but edible, no doubt.
When I got home I battered and fried up my fiddleheads after a thorough soak. Dripped a little bit of lemon juice and dug in. There's nothing like a wild harvested afternoon treat. Here are some pictures of devil's urn mushrooms and fiddlehead ferns. Hopefully it won't be long before I'll be posting the results of a successful morel hunt. Until then..
Ahh, I've been bad about my blog. Oh well- life happened and blogging didn't. Can only go up from here.
Been a good last month or so since I blogged. A lot has happened since early February, but like usual, I think I'll just pick up from what I can remember and move forward.
A few weeks back I had the chance to go to West Virginia with one of my best friends who has mentored me since I was probably 14. Bob was my youth group leader in high school and has become a really good friend over the years. Typically we take a trip or two per year to the mountains to do some hiking and camping.
We started off camping just below Seneca Rocks Friday night. Saturday morning we did some hiking around Dolly Sods before we made our way towards Davis where we finished the day hiking around Blackwater Falls State Park. We heard some good music at the Purple Fiddle Cafe on Saturday night and stopped by the Maple Syrup festival in Monterey, VA on the way home Sunday. If you haven't been to Seneca Rocks or the Davis, WV area, I highly recommend you check it out.
Here are some pictures of what we now call, our "Epic Adventure".
Last Saturday, my nephew and I made our first wood duck house. From what Peyton's dad has told me, Tuckahoe used to have a pretty significant wood duck population until one time a group of hunters decided to take more than their limit, crippling the vulnerable population.
Over the last couple of months, I have seen some wood ducks near a small pond on the low grounds at Tuckahoe. After doing some research on how to help bring back the population, it seemed like building a few wood duck houses was one of the best ways to ensure a "safe" environment to reintroduce the population to an area.
I got some plans off the internet and had some wood cut at Lowes and then went to town making a house with my nephew. All in all, it was a great experience with Micah. I love the chance to hang out with him and teach him some things about the woods, carpentry, nature, and God. We have plans to put the house up next weekend at the pond and hope to build a few more this Spring- hopefully in time for a healthy population next winter.
Here are some pictures of the finished product.
Two weekends ago, Peyton and I got a chance to head out towards Culpepper to hike White Oak Canyon.
I had hiked White Oak a few times in the past, but had always hiked from Skyline down. This time we parked off Weakley Hollow Road near Graves Mountain. We did the loop hike that connects to a fire road at the otp of the final set of falls. All in all it was close to 9 miles. I didn't have high hopes about the 2nd part of the hike, as I figured...what could beat the waterfalls? But the return trail down the Cedar Run trail was as magnificent as the first half. The trail dips down into deep hollows with steep rock walls on either side and some long water slides down the steep ravines. It was really awesome. Quote of the hike: "It looks like you have an afro on your face"..Thanks.. This weekend we're headed to Vesuvius and hoping to do some hiking near Douthat or somewhere in Nelson county. Can't wait!
Here are some pictures from White Oak.
The day after Christmas, Peyton, Nate, Lexi, and I headed off for an adventure, little did we know. We set our compass to Dolly Sods just outside of Seneca, WV. We planned to do a 10mile day hike and then meet Ian and Jess at a campsite in Seneca. That was the plan. Long story short, we ended up hiking close to 16 miles, 4-5 miles of it in the dark- luckily we all came prepared with lights and food for the latter part of the hike.
All in all, a beautiful hike, good times bonding, and of course, the highlight was that Ian had set up Nate and Lexi's tent and had a campfire ready for us when we arrived.
The next morning, we woke up to a cold rain, packed up camp, and made our way to Davis, WV- one of my favorite small towns. We ate breakfast at Bright Morning Inn, a bed and breakfast Peyton and I have stayed at in the past. After a couple of warm lovin spoonfulls and a hearty breakfast, we made our way down the road to our cabin at Blackwater Falls State Park.
Naps were had, tea was drunk, fires were kindled, books were read. It was one of those afternoons. After a while of laying around the cabin, Nate, Ian, and I went to see the falls and take a walk around the park.
When we got back, we had a pasta dinner and then made our way to the Purple Fiddle-one of the coolest music venues on the east coast. We heard an awesome bluegrass band, drank from mason jars, and stopped our feet to the rhythm of the banjo for the next couple of hours. Good times were had.
The next morning, we woke to 4 inches of snow. We took a hike to both the falls, and a beautiful overlook of the gorge.
All in all, a great weekend with some great friends. Might not beat a trip to Haiti, but definitely a good way to spend a few vacation days away from home.
It's been too long, I know. I haven't written anything for a while. I would say I've been too busy, but one of my pet peeves is when people use that excuse for anything..so I guess I won't use that one this time. All I can say is that I hope to do a better job updating the next couple of weeks than I have done lately.
I went hiking on the Appalachian Trail yesterday down near Roanoke, Virginia. I did two loop hikes that have been on my list for a while. The first was McAfee's knob, the most photographed spot on the AT, and a sister loop just a few miles south- Dragon's tooth. Great weather, beautiful skies, and both beautiful views to be had.
Any time in the mountains is a good time. There is so much mystery and wonder in Appalachia that keeps many, including myself, coming back as often a time as we can.
Hope you all had a nice weekend whatever you got into. I hope you found adventure for those who sought it, simplicity for those that desire it, worship for us who are blessed by it, and love in the many ways we are surrounded by it.
Enjoy the pictures.