Solstice Morning Foraging

snow-cyclamenHappy Winter Solstice!

This morning Ricky and I took a walk in the Ramot forest of Jerusalem. There are huge numbers of trees and tree limbs downed by last week’s snowstorm. But there are also signs of the bloom season starting, like these Cyclamen persicum…

…and these white crocuses.

crocus

It’s weird for me, used to northeastern North America, to consider the Winter Solstice the start of spring as far as plants go, but that’s the reality on the ground here in the Middle East. I also saw some wild daffodils that I didn’t get a good photo of (next time).

trackWe weren’t the only ones out enjoying the warm morning. Any trackers out there know who this print belongs to?

And of course, we did some foraging. It turned out to be too early in the season for the Suillus mushrooms I’ve found here in January. But the recent storm knocked the last of the season’s olives and plenty of Arbutus (strawberry tree) fruit to the ground. The olives will get a simple salt cure. Not sure what I’m doing with the Arbutus yet, besides snacking on it.olives-and-arbutus

Other stuff I did this solstice day: made sauerkraut, made fish chowder, took a nap, was grateful for a day off. Okay, almost a day off: I also finished up an article on sunchokes. It’s ironic that I was working on an article about a plant also known as Jerusalem artichokes even though it is a native North American plant that has nothing to do with Jerusalem…while I’m actually in Jerusalem.

Next up, a salsa dancing lesson with my bf. Life is good.

Wishing you a wonderful solstice and holiday season!

2 Comments »

  1. acmeplant said,

    December 21, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

    Strawberry tree fruit makes a gorgeous fruit leather! Especially tasty if you add a little acid, like pomegranate juice.

    How big was that track? It looks kind of bear-ish. Do they have bears in Israel?

  2. ledameredith said,

    December 22, 2013 @ 12:59 am

    Nice idea with the fruit leather - thanks! Do you bother with the crusty rinds? Run through a food mill?

    As for that track, I was thinking bear-ish, too, until Heather pointed out that it could be deer tracks going over a human’s sneaker print!

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