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Wild Ideas A column by Mary Keck

Head full of spring

April 25, 2012 - Nothing makes me happier than fresh dirt on my hiking boots, a snooze in a hammock, or a long meditative sit in a field of swaying grass.

Since seeing the daffodils and red buds blooming, my head's been full of spring.

So I think I'll write about my passion for the outdoors in my column, but I can't guarantee that I won't get any other wild ideas.

Over the past couple of weeks, I've had the pleasure of hiking on the Polly Ann Trail and in Independence Oaks.

I took my husband, Lance, and my dog, Killeen, with me when I hit the trails recently.

Although we kept an eye out for Morels among the fallen leaves, we didn't find any.

Based on what I learned from local fungi fanatic Matt Reid, I'll have to wait for the yellows to pop up in May.

Before the rain started to fall, Lance and I quizzed ourselves on the edible plant knowledge we acquired during Mark Angelini's wild foods class.

We found lots of trout lily with their long spade-shaped leaves and fish skin spots.

Bright yellow dandelions were in abundance on the trailside, and we snacked on a few leaves as we passed a pair of turtles sunning themselves on a log.

All this talk of mushrooms and wild foods has got me thinking about tilling up a space for my vegetable garden soon.

If I've learned anything from local plant experts, it's to know the ecology of the area before growing.

So, I'm wondering if you have any advice about choosing a good garden space or if you have any favorite mushroom hunting spots you're willing to share.

If so, shoot me an email at mary@shermanpublications.org or write a letter to the editor and tell me about your wild ideas.

Clarkston News reporter
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