Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I frequently reflect that I live in a lovely place. But every once in a while things happen that make me marvel anew at just how beautiful and delightful it is here in rural New Jersey.
Granted, rural New Jersey isn't all that rural in the grand scheme of things. But there's farm land a brief walk away, the land behind the house belongs to the county as Green Acres, and we have deer and wild turkey regularly wandering through. When the wind is right, you can smell the buffalo farm.... Er, right.
Today, I found morels near the driveway. We harvested morels around this time last year in the same place. Now, it's not a "miracle of the wood" because I seeded giant morels near there many years ago. But it was long enough ago that I thought it had just disappeared into nothingness. Then a while back a few morels popped up in the garden. And then last year we noticed a fair crop of them next to the driveway. And this year, there they were again.
Enough for a delicious mushroom dish, even though I left a few tiny dried up ones. Since they're morels, there's absolutely no way to mistake something poisonous for one. False morels are obvious when cut in half lengthwise since real morels are hollow all the way up and don't have a cap.
I noticed them today as I was walking down the driveway to get the mail. No packages delivered, so it was left in the mailbox at street level. I was pulling up invasive garlic mustard where ever I saw it, and noticed the morels. And that led to taking out my camera and snapping some pics after going to get a container and a knife. And bringing out the camera always means I see things a little differently. Instead of just the general impression of verdant spring beauty and soft air, I notice things.
Like how pretty even the tender young poison ivy is. It's beautiful in the fall, too, when it turns vivid red. We're still going to dig it up, however. Most of the family is painfully allergic.
Meanwhile, the wildflowers in the woods have really come out in force. There's the invasive cress that's been seeding like mad, but that doesn't detract from the lovely rue anemones. We've been carefully encouraging them every year and they keep coming back in greater and greater numbers.
And it's almost past their season, but the cherry blossoms of our ornamental trees are going strong.
Even though he's a pain in the neck to catch, I put out one of the rabbits today. It was so lovely and Squirrel enjoys it so much. The other rabbit doesn't like it at all, so she stays in and I let her run around on my floor. But Squirrel eats the primroses and snacks on the grass and generally has a fantastic time bothering the cats.
The trees are leafing out, the flowers are everywhere, and even if it goes below 40 at night, everything is green. It really is spring.