morels and young basswood leaves
Here in the Hudson Valley we have been gifted a spring to dream about. This spring reminds me of the springs of my childhood. Instead of the weather going rapidly from cold to hot, the weather has been gradually warming, it's been mild, cool, wet, rainy. Of course there have been those warm, breezy days that get you excited about summer, but I think we are all grateful for such a gentle and beautiful spring. All of the rainfall we have received not only fill our creeks, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers to keep droughts at bay but also waters our seedlings and plants in the garden. The rain is also crucial to slow down the gypsy moths that have escalated in the North East, that has caused lots of damage to our local oak population. Of course, all of this rain and cool weather has also made for an incredible morel season! Here in Woodstock, I am accustomed to maybe finding a dozen or so morels each spring, but this season has already been exceptional and it's only just begun! I really enjoy eating morels with wild foods that are also in full bloom or available in the spring. This set of prized morels were enjoyed with fiddleheads, a basswood salad, and a roadkill rabbit my partner found freshly hit and prepared for dinner.
This spring has also provided us with a cascade of beautiful blooming trees- which is an excellent indicator of the fruits to come. Since we didn't get hit with a frost here in the valley, the wild cherry, service-berries, currants, peach, and other fruit trees and shrubs were all able to bloom to their full potential providing not only pollinators with food, but hopefully us humans will be lucky to score a few basket-fulls of wild fruit come summer.
Happy spring + foraging!