Thursday, June 5, 2008

Been a while

I haven't posted in while so I have a backlog of things to talk about.

A few weeks back my family and i spent most of our time hunting morel mushrooms. We found about two pounds worth in ther 2-3 weeks that we went looking. We had our best luck in an are the had been burned off last fall. We at most of the with a shrimp scampi, and pesto pasta.

Besides these tasty fungi we aslo found some great spring prairie wildflowers like:

Hoary Puccoon (Lithospermum canescens)

Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium montanum)

and Prairie Violet (Viola pedatifida)

My daughter and I stumbled upon a good sized Fox snake (Elaphe vulpina) on a ridge near our home. Fox snakes have a nasty habit of vibrating their tails in dry leaves etc. when alarmed. This one did and almost met the wrath of my walking staff. I deal with a snake of the same species a lot in my work and I was able to quickly figure out that it wasn't a rattle snake. (I would never go out of my way to kill a snake, but I thought I was going to step on a rattler while carrying my little girl).

My wife found a Sharp-shinned hawk while of hiking a few days later. It was sitting on a branch near cut-bank that some Northern rough-winged swallows use for nesting.

A few nights later my wife went into the kitchen and discovered a Little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) flying around the kitchen. It eventually got tired and landed behind our wall clock, so she opened the window and removed the screen and I held the clock outside and off it flew.

This past weekend I taught a mini Bushcraft course at the Loess Hills Praire Seminar. I had a great time, and good attendance. I had a real ego boost when a woman told me I should write a book on the subject, and another asked me if I would come present at a big wetlands festival in north central Iowa.

On Saturday I will be teaching a class on wild edibles for a local community college. I hopefully will remeber my camera and post on the things we find.

Sorry I have been so slow in posting!