Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Yesterday was Beth's baby shower. I was sure we'd be overrun with bird-themed baby gifts, but we were not. We only got a few. Some were Charley Harper-related things we registered for (more in a future post) and we also got a few outfits with cute birds on them. Beth's best friend gave us a crap load of hand-me-down clothing from her son, who will turn 1 in Sept. Within the bags and bags of clothes were these slippers.
Posted by Patrick B. at 9:04 PM
Monday, July 06, 2009
On top of what's already been an awesome year, I was ecstatic to hear that I won a guided birding trip to Puerto Rico through Wildside Nature Tours!!! The trip will likely be in January and you can bet there will be lots of posts and photos to come. Many thanks to the crew at 10,000 Birds and Wildside Nature Tours for having the contest.
Posted by Patrick B. at 8:50 AM
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Your winnings are recorded on a scoresheet. The game ends when the first player fills in the list of species on the scoresheet.
The next bird fest I'm at, I'll be sure to bring these games along with me if it's within driving distance. Maybe we need a "Birds & Beers & Games" type event here in NJ!
Posted by Patrick B. at 11:25 AM
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Last night, Beth and I attended a program on edible wild plants by "Wildman" Steve Brill at the gorgeous Franklin Township Library. The Wildman is a dynamic fellow who has been foraging for wild edible plants in the NY-NJ-CT area for more than 25 years. He's an educator who visits schools, garden clubs, and other organizations. He also hosts many field trips throughout the area. The "Wildman" is (in)famous for being arrested in 1986 in Central Park for eating a dandelion leaf - a very funny story.
Steve's program is an overview of the benefits of foraging, information on ecology, and the historic and current human uses of the plants and fungi in the northeast. My best way to describe him is, as I said to Beth is, "He's quite the character." His presentation is full of puns and witicisms, which was great for me since we have a similar sense of humor. He's also great with kids and an engaging storyteller. I was happy to see kids there and Steve involved them by having them help hand out samples.
The program included a lot of examples of plants and mushrooms that Steve had picked that day. We were able to taste many of the samples too. These included Lamb's-quarters, Black Birch, Ramps (delicious!), Pineapple Weed, and our favorite - Poor Man's Pepper. The mushrooms were very interesting including a bolete that turns blue when you break it open. As is apparently important when it comes to foraging, the Wildman stressed the importance of knowing what you're eating and the toxic effects of eating the wrong thing. As he said when referring to one toxic plant, and I'm paraphrasing here, "You get the most horrible diarrhea, vomiting, and pains. This continues until you die. Then the symptoms go away."
We had a great time at the presentation and also purchased two of Steve's books. Unfortunately, he was sold out of his vegetarian cook book, but we'll definitely be getting that one soon. If you live in the tri-state area, try to get out to one of the Wildman's lectures or better yet, one of his field trips.
Posted by Patrick B. at 8:20 AM