not the kind you eat... yesterday we visited a nature reserve not too far from us. on the grounds there were a number of old buildings and a small museum as well. in the museum there was a very interesting exhibit on the Crackers of Florida. of note, while we think of this as a disparaging term today- roughly equivalent to red-neck, it is actually a term long in use to describe white settlers of mostly Celtic background that were extremely self-sufficient and not always poor.
the nature reserve had several trails for hiking through wetlands (swamp) and other habitats. we chose the mile long board walk trail to stroll and found it quite lovely. we saw small signs of springs impending arrival.
here at the River Cottage this is even more evident as a number of plants along the river's edge that have been brown are now greening up with the special spring green color that we all look forward to through the winter.
I joked to our landlords that I never understood how Thoreau could have lived on Walden Pond all that time and not gone completely out of his mind, until we came to River Cottage. now I know how fascinating it can be to slow down and appreciate more subtle changes in our surroundings. after the stress of the last year this is a perfect way to restore our spirits. and that is without even mentioning the 24 inches of snow we missed at home this last week!