Exploring My Foraging Grounds

Last week, we got permission from our neighbor to go hiking around in his little patch of forest right behind our backyard. Naturally, we immediately went home, got some foraging tools (and proper clothing for exploring new foliage), hopped our fence, and went exploring! We didn’t really bring back much other than a few specimens to identify. I also used my partner’s iPhone to take some photos of plants to identify (and just some nice scenery photos). Sorry about the quality of the pics, I’m not a huge fan of the camera on this iPhone. Next time I’ll be taking my own (bulky) camera!

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The beauty of Oregon never ceases to amaze me! I’m so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to live here.

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We found a mushroom! Quite a large beauty, indeed. No ID on this one because I am so very not trained to identify mushrooms yet… 😛

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The first Western Bleeding Heart flowers of the season are just emerging:

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We found what we think we’ve IDed as Wild Ginger – SO MUCH OF IT! All over the place! I didn’t dig up one to ID the root because I had no clue it might be Wild Ginger. I’ll be trying to positively ID one next time.

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Tons of Wood Sorrel everywhere as well! This was my first time tasting it, such a lovely citrus-y taste! This plant is very edible, so I look forward to adding it to salads through this spring and summer. Just have to make sure not to eat too much because of the oxalic acid (which is also in common foods like spinach, so it’s not that big of a concern – I’d have to eat a lot of it and have problematic kidneys for it to be an issue).

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(Check out that Viking bracelet I made, isn’t it EPIC???)

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Henbit! We also have a decent amount of its sister, Purple Dead Nettle, on our own property (right outside my bedroom window).

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What I’m thinking is a kind of plantain (the plant, not the fruit!). We have a different type of plantain in our own yard, so I have some experience with it.

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Wild Ginger + Plantain? Notice the cleavers ALL OVER THE PLACE – also edible!

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Neat little fungus or something of the sort… Plus more cleavers. They’re so plentiful in our area that I have a hard time NOT getting them in photos!

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I think this may be a variety of Miner’s Lettuce, which would be awesome because I’ve been wanting to try some for years, ever since I read Gabrielle Chavez’s writing about it (and later, Sergei Boutenko). Here’ a shot of an unidentified flower with what also seems to be Miner’s Lettuce(?) around it:

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More unidentified plants – always take several photos of new plants so you have good reference shots when you’re looking them up online:

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I like getting close-ups of plant features as well as some shots of the whole plant and a photo of its surroundings – the other plants in the area can sometimes tell you a lot about a plant you’re trying to identify.

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Yet more unidentified plants. I’m working on looking them up, but the PNW has just SO MUCH wildlife that it can be difficult to get a positive ID quickly. If you are a local and know what any of these are, let me know! Some of these look edible, and some don’t… Not to mention that there is a very real threat of poisonous plants that look kind of like “nice” plants around here, and Poison Hemlock is known to be in the area (I didn’t go touching many plants that I wasn’t sure of, I really need a pair of gloves for these occasions!).

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Two kinds of unknown flowers. I also found these tiny little yellow violet-like flowers that apparently I didn’t get any photos of in the field. I did pick a few and bring them home (where I could photograph them in better light and with my own camera):

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I harvested one Western Bleeding Heart for identification. They are plentiful in my secret spot, and one called out to me that it would let me examine it. The tuber came out of the ground so nicely, and I may save it for tincture use. Later, I found a nice display head of Bleeding Heart flowers that had apparently been stepped on by a deer, because it was bent and nearly separated from the rest of the plant. I picked that one up and cherished it for the rest of the day, examining it in detail and photographing it.

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Our cherry trees are in the background, just starting to flower nicely. The ones in town are already in full bloom with some petal showers, but we live higher in the mountains so we get our blooms later. I actually really enjoy it, because it means that between going into town and the trees up here, I get to witness an extended cherry blossom season!

Speaking of cherry blossoms, apparently a cherry tree had gotten knocked about in the forest, as I came across a big puddle of whole cherry blossoms! I gathered some to take photos and to touch, as I simply adore cherry blossoms (sakura):

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From my own yard, I harvested some dandelion greens and flowers for the next couple of days:

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A photo of my mini-haul for the day:

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Thank you for sharing my small adventure with me! I’ll take my own camera along next time to get better photos of the secret spot ♥ If you can identify any of the plants I haven’t yet, please let me know in the comments below!

Happy Spring & Happy Foraging!

~Pax ♥

 

This post is participating in the weekly photo challenge: Landscape

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