Cup of Wonder, Jethro Tull
We rose before dawn this morning for our annual pilgrimage to High Park to welcome in the first of May. It was a perfect morning; a hint of chill still in the air, a deep pink sunrise and the rain held off long enough for the song and dance festivities to take place. Being Sunday, no one was rushing off to work this year so there was time after for a leisurely breakfast and a walk through the woods.
The woods were full of wonders this morning, including an appearance by the fabled white squirrel!
The May Queen, perhaps?
As we traipsed through the forest, we gathered willow branches to make wreaths, from limbs felled in the recent windstorms.
We also picked some garlic mustard for pesto and foraged for fiddleheads, of which we were fortunate to find plenty! We followed sound foraging techniques even still; picked only from a patch that was very plentiful, plucked no more than one fiddlehead per clump and left far more than we gathered.
A caution for those who aren't familiar with them, fiddleheads should be washed thoroughly and never eaten raw. Some sources suggest boiling them and draining the water twice- I have never found this to be necessary but if you have a sensitive stomach you might want to take the extra step. After a good rinsing, I prefer to saute them in a bit of butter and eat them plain but they are wonderful in pasta dishes and can be substituted in any dish that calls for asparagus.
Wandering through a thicket of forsythia, we eventually stumbled onto the historical gardens of the original homestead, Colborne Lodge. The vegetable gardens are all but empty for now, except for some rhubarb and over wintered onions and garlic.
The floral gardens are already in full bloom and we were awed by the variety of spring bulbs that are lovingly planted by the park staff, including this beauty which I believe is a variety of tulip!
On a nearby hillside we discovered a mass of lilies as well; it was still too early in the season for flowers but we'll have to try to find our way back in time to see them in bloom. And in a week or so the cherry trees will be in blossom, so today's meander through the woods was hopefully just the first of many to come.
Blessed Beltane to you and yours! May your gardens be lush and fertile this year!