More rambling

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This is a wild fresh water mussel.  Some raccoon or heron reached it before I did.  where there is one there are more.  You can eat these things.  They are a good source of protein and would cook up nicely.

Fresh water mussel

Fresh water mussel

And a close up.  Seeing these tells you that the water is relatively clean.

Wild freshwater mussel 2

Wild freshwater mussel 2

I’m told that all shellfish in North America is edible.  That doesn’t mean if you pull something out of a polluted river that you should eat it, it just means that unlike shellfish in other parts of the world, shell fish in North America doesn’t make toxins.

This is pokeweed.  You can eat the young leaves in the spring time.  Ever hear that song, “Poke Salad Annie?”  The gators got her granny.

Pokeweed

Pokeweed

You can only eat the shoots and leaves when they are young and you have to boil them in a couple changes of water.  You need to avoid the roots and any reddish stems because they are poisonous.  The Indians used a berry tea for arthritis and rheumatism and a poultice from the leaves for skin disorders.  The berries also make a beautiful dark purple dye.  The pokeweed plant is being researched because it may hold the key to curing cancer and HIV.

This is a large ant hill.  I usually don’t see them so big around here that’s why I thought it was interesting.  It’s a couple of feet across and maybe 10″ tall.

Ant hill

Ant hill

If you are hungry enough you would eat the ants.

This is a great article from Mother Earth News, http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/1984-01-01/A-Winter-Wild-Food-Feast.aspx.

You need to buy some field guides.  You can’t have too many.  When you find something that you want to identify you will want 2-3 field guides to cross reference.

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