It's been another early winter here on the edge of the Bay of Fundy. My wife Willa hopes that with an early start, winter may be over sooner than usual. She speculated recently on the possibility of driving to our Riverside Retreat on the St. John River before the end of March. However with the latest dumping of snow and cold temperatures; that hope is probably just a dream. Being able to drive down Pancake Hill to the river's edge and our little piece of heaven on the Kingston Peninsula means winter is long gone and the ice and snow all melted.
Spring Into Lamb
The Shore Lunch
An enjoyable element that is integral to the fishing ritual and a celebration of our heritage as hunters. Every spring it was the same: the unaccustomed warmth of an afternoon sun on the face, song sparrows in the meadow and a heavy running brook newly released from winter's grip. It was just plain great to be alive and spirits soared with the reawakening.
On those very special occasions when camping out, I reveled to the fragrance of bannock bread as it was nearly done in the old cast-iron frypan on the Coleman gas stove. Food as simple as this, is the stuff of childhood memories. Even today, hearty simple fare makes our time at the camp more special. It is a family place where simple memories become cherished ossessions.
Country Kitchen with Ross Mavis
A "dandy" treat right at your feet
At this time of year, it isn't long before the prolific dandelion dots lawns and countrysides in profusion. As a child, I was thrilled to tell my parents that I had spotted dandelions growing near our house in early March. My Dad, who was well familiar with the outdoors, said it was coltsfoot and not dandelion. The blossom of the lowly coltsfoot can sometimes be mistaken for a dandelion at first glance, but the similarity ends there. Leaves of the dandelion are long and serrated while the coltsfoot leaf is shaped much like the plants' very name; a small round hoof.
Often the first wild flower of summer is mistaken as the dandelion. A plant similar looking to the dandelion can be found in profusion alongside rural roads. In late March and April, coltsfoot or butterbur, blossoms into a dandelion look-alike. I can’t act superior, except for the fact that I have a naturalist for a brother-in-law. Allen lives on New Brunswick’s Kingston Peninsula and he gets a chuckle whenever someone spots “dandelions” blooming here in April or even early May.
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