Gardening Tips: April 23, 2014
I have had a wonderful winter in Florida and I will surely miss my daily activities down here. The fishing has been excellent for the most part. I joined a boat club that allows, pretty much, unlimited use of a number of different boats from many different ports. This is the first winter I have had this option and I am very glad I joined.
Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is a treat that everyone who enjoys fishing would love. The weather has been great, well, this is Florida and so it had better be! I got to spend lots of time with my kids and grandkids, who are all growing up much too quickly in my mind. My daughter has been patiently teaching me how to identify some species of palms and I am slowly learning some of the other vegetation. I can now distinguish three different species of mangroves as well as other beach plants.
My friends up north have kept me informed about the local weather conditions and it sounds like a pretty typical spring, with temperatures in the 60s one day and snow the next! I do hope that spring lingers a bit when I return. I want to see my forsythia bush in bloom, the shadblow trees on my property, my spring bulbs, my neighbor’s iris garden and bloodroot in bloom, as well as trout lily, trillium, blue cohosh, foamflower, hepatica, Dutchman’s breeches, baneberry, spring beauty, wild ginger and especially, my ginseng plants emerging.
Tasting some ramps
I want to eat some ramps, fiddle head ferns, harvest asparagus and rhubarb, plant lots of seeds, clean out the birdhouses, make sure the lawnmower still runs and shoot my guns! If the turkey God’s cooperate I hope to shoot a big gobbler, but the nicest thing about spring turkey hunting is that it really is not that important to actually shoot anything at all.
Watching the sunrise in the Catskill forest is more than enough reward for being alive. I will pursue herring and striped bass in the Catskill Creek and Hudson River and my friend Rob will take me trout fishing on the Ashokan Reservoir. I may even do some local stream fishing for trout and will surely go after walleye in the Schoharie Reservoir.
Soon I will be listening to the birds singing their feathers off as they carry on their courtship behavior and build their nests. Perhaps a bluebird family will take up residence in one of the boxes I set out as the tree sparrows will most likely occupy the box in my vegetable garden. I will sit on my deck and talk to the catbirds. I hope I have not missed the chorus of spring peepers as these tiny tree frogs announce their presence, or the bloom of the coltsfoot plants along my road.
Birds are back in town
By now the red winged blackbirds have returned and red maples are probably finished blooming too. Mayapple will be up in the woods and all the homes in the region will have their usual spring explosion of azaleas, crabapples, redbud, Bradford pear, flowering quince, spirea and so much more. Cultivated and wild cherry trees will be in bloom as will Norway and silver maple. Perhaps this May I will find some of the elusive morel mushrooms that usually elude me.
I hope my shiitake logs have endured the winter and will provide an early flush for me to eat and sell some. I will search for spring oyster mushrooms in the usual places. Maybe I will learn a few new mushroom species to add to my collectibles list.