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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


Forested Foraging For Fir Florets


Yesterday when the weather broke free of the fog belt,
and the robins tweedled proudly in the front yard,
and the sunshine demanded shorts,
I took my pup and left for the forest, laden with a small bag of tricks and a heart full of Spring.
I collected the first tips from the fir trees, crunching on them as we walked.  They taste like a sort of citrus that remains undefined, crossed with the scent of Christmas morning in the snow, with a resinous bite that sparks the palate.  This morning a mound of tips is drying neatly in a high kitchen cupboard, destine for tea,* even though the thought of their brightness keeps bringing my fingers back to snagging needles and popping them in my mouth.

Several years back, when I began hiking in earnest, I fell in love with the realization that the forests are made of FOOD.  I decided I needed to know what was edible just in the incase a Lost situation happened in the backwoods of Washington state, wherein fresh mangos were not available, but instead, we needed to survive on salmon berries and wild carrots.  [I want to be the one who knows.  This is also why I carry a rather large pocket knife while hiking.  Should Lost happen, and suddenly polar bears and smoke monsters come streaming out of the forest, I want to feel good about my survival rate.]  I'm thinking about taking a foraging class here in the wilds of Northern California, learning how to take the native growth of this lush coast and turn them into something truly gourmet.  In the meantime, I'm lusting over this book in a big way.

I have a feeling these fir tips will end up in more than just tea, in more than just me.  That brilliant chartreuse teases the artist with a come-hither wink.

Answering the call,
~ Umber

*I will tell you true:
The amount of eye rolling and loud snorts happening in this house, by my BC, in regards to this subject, has reached epic proportions.  He's such a good sport, putting up with rock piles on windowsills, new houseplants mysteriously showing up almost weekly, Mumford and Sons on repeat blaring from the studio for hours on end, kale showing up at nearly every meal and the general half-cocked spastic spontaneity that happens regularly around these parts.  But this morning when he opened the kitchen cupboards and found my display of bright green tips, well, let's just call it epic.  I think I amuse the man.  I just like to call it "keeping things fresh."