Source: Sherman Publications

Wild Ideas A column by Mary Keck
Head full of spring

by Mary Keck

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 headís been full of spring.

So I think Iíll write about my passion for the outdoors in my column, but I canít guarantee that I wonít get any other wild ideas.

Over the past couple of weeks, Iíve 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 didnít find any.

Based on what I learned from local fungi fanatic Matt Reid, Iíll 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 Angeliniís 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 Iíve learned anything from local plant experts, itís to know the ecology of the area before growing.

So, Iím wondering if you have any advice about choosing a good garden space or if you have any favorite mushroom hunting spots youíre willing to share.

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