Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Darling Run in the rain (April 21, 2020)

It was 45 degrees Fahrenheit with a light rain. Starting at Darling Run Access Area I headed south. I set out to gather leeks and check on fiddleheads and knotweed. The fiddleheads were not ready and I gathered three early emerging knotweed stalks. Yes, I'm talking about Japanese knotweed; this exotic invasive species is edible and when cooked right it looks like asparagus and tastes like artichoke. I'll have to return next week to check on the ostrich fern fiddleheads and gather more Japanese knotweed.

I had the trail all to myself, save a few fishermen along the banks of Pine Creek. I am amazed at what little rain will keep most people from venturing out into wild spaces. As they go about their regular business of foraging and pair bonding, the mergansers and geese don't seem to mind the rain, and neither do I. To feel the gentle caress of wind and rain on my face is like being baptized anew in the full embrace of wild spaces every time it happens. Green leaves are never so vibrant as in the rain. The same goes for lichens and mosses that adorn these canyon walls. For those who revel in the sight and sound of waterfalls, there's no better time to enjoy these marvelous features than when the rain is coming down all around; falling from clouds, dripping from branches, seeping over dirt and rock into every deep-cut ravine, filling these canyon streambanks in a beautiful cascading rush as this life-giving molecule rapidly descends towards Pine Creek, and on this day every waterfall between Strap Mill Hollow and Pinafore Run is fully alive!

Choose to stay home and wait for sunny weather and you've missed it.

Upon making it to my leek spot, I gathered enough for the week and left more than enough for the forest and for the leeks themselves. Upon gathering up my odorific harvest I sat on a rock for a few minutes.

Here I rest in a moment of thankfulness while a winter wren's song echoes through this ravine, a raven's shadow is cast over Pine Creek from high above as the sun breaks through the clouds for a brief moment, and I hear the delightful pitter-patter of merganser feet on flowing water as one takes wing heading farther down stream. 

On my way back to the trailhead I was greeted by six ruby-crowned kinglets energetically foraging for insects among hemlock branches. Soon they'll continue their trip northward, perhaps to the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks in Upper New York. In about a month's time I hope to follow their lead (for a weekend visit).

The next time it's raining and you're given the opportunity to retreat to wild spaces, go! I trust you'll be amazed at what great blessings are in store for that someone who saunters through the rain drops. The next time it rains, may that someone be you.

1 comment:

  1. On our farm 10 miles from Wellsboro we had a great patch of Leeks every year. My dad loved leek and potato soup. Taught me to love it also.No longer live there and have to get them from the produce section at the grocery store every year.