Sunday, April 18, 2010

Signs of Spring

There was a break in the rain, so I took the opportunity to go for a walk at Western Gateway Park in Penn Valley. Squirrel Creek flows through the park, so I decided to meander down the trail that parallels the creek and led to this little bridge. The oak trees hadn't begun to leaf out yet, but the creek had lots of water from the abundant rain, and the new spring vegetation was green and lush. In the damp, shady spots I found patches of lovely, succulent miner's lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata). As the name implies, Miner's lettuce was harvested by California gold rush miners of 1849 as a source of vitamin C to prevent scurvy. It was most commonly eaten in salads, but could be boiled like spinach. It was also a favorite of California Indians. I love the taste of Miner's lettuce, which reminds me a bit of spinach, so of course, I had to gather a few young leaves to munch on. I wandered onto anther trail and spotted a chunk of bark with moss and lichens. The dead leaves on the ground were quite a contrast to the lush surroundings, but I noticed that shoots of green grass were poking up through the rotting leaves. As I neared the end of my walk, I was happily surprised to encounter a patch of lovely wild violets. I couldn't resist picking one of the violets - the fragrance was delicate and amazing. The fragrance was so lovely that I kept sniffing it all the way home.

1 comment:

Dogwood said...

Hi Francine~I found your blog on a comment you made on Lindsey's blog. It was so nice to meet you yesterday. I came home and looked at you card again. I love it. You are a very creative lady! Thanks for the card. I will treasure it. I have never been on that trail and it looks like a beautiful place. I will definitley get there soon. Hope you see you again real soon. Enjoy you days and happy creating!