[Tweeters] Spring Greens

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Tue Apr 1 08:02:07 PDT 2014


At my parents home in Port Townsend, on March 27, I was looking out my temporary bedroom window there, and noticed a green bird snooping around the Currant bush - my first sighting of a Orange-crowned Warbler this year! I saw another later, and all day the Orange-crowns (at least two of 'em, if not more) were about the yard. One of the wonderful things about this warbler, is that one can get great looks at it without hurting your neck.
I've often thought that if ol' J.J. Audubon (that famous long-haired- hippy- bird- blasting artist) were still around, and painting pictures in the Great Northwest, he would definitely wire his Orange-crowned Warbler "model" to the branch of a blooming Big-leaf Maple. I've always liked Audubon's pairing's of bird and plant in his paintings, and I think that the Orange-crown/ maple flower combo would be a classic.
For one thing, just the subtle color harmony's going on- all those greens, and greeny yellows of both the bird and the plant. Then you have your timing - the warbler shows up right about the time the maples are blooming, which is right now in Port Townsend, etc.
When the sap starts rising, I get hungry, and speaking of Big-leaf Maple flowers, did you know they are edible? And unlike many technically edible things, they actually taste pretty good, at least in my opinion. I've tried dipping them in batter, and then sauteing them in olive oil, or making sort of a fritter with batter and a bunch of the loose bits. Eating the flowers raw- tastes a bit like broccoli. I did hear on a KUOW radio show about edible wild plants, that folks with big tree pollen allergies might not wanna try these flowers.
Another spring green is the well known lawn enemy, the Dandelion, which I consider a friend, and I've gotta lot of friends in my yard right now. My daughter, when young, was enamored with the Disney movie "Peter Pan", which she watched over and over, getting to know Princess Tiger Lily along the way. Getting her lions and tigers a bit mixed up, she would call our dandelions "tiger lilies", which was pretty darn cute.
Moving right along, all parts (roots, leaves, flowers) of the dandelion are very nutritious and of healing properties. As tweeters is not an ethnobotany site, you can google the details yourself. Last year I ate dandelion flower fritters, and a bunch of sauteed greens, and was happy. This year I'm gonna ask my wife to cook up the stuff, because she actually knows how to cook, unlike my primitive man explorations.
Jeff Gibsonfeeling the green, inEverett/Port Townsend Wa


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