There’s a few specific areas on the mountain where you’re guaranteed to find your fill of fiddleheads this time of year.
They pop up from beneath the leaves under the canopies about three weeks after the peepers make their presence known.
I say this with confidence as I’ve been harvesting fiddleheads this time of year, every year, for the past fifteen years.
Yet today, I leave empty handed after mulling around for a mile, swatting away newborn gnats and other flying foragers of flesh.
I could have collected quite an impressive amount of Scapes, but they’re not really my thing. And though it’s not the end of days for me, I’m still a little baffled as to why these annual clockwork crops have yet to show.
Suffice to say, this is an apropos moment where I could say “suffice to say..” but there’s really not one concrete thing that I can pin their absence to.
It certainly wasn’t the few hours of winter the other day that kept them from curling up. If it was – the Scapes would have been the first to retreat – as they are comparatively less hardy. Additionally, there wouldn’t be a valley of Trout Lillies, and I most certainly wouldn’t have seen a small collection of Dutchman’s Breeches hiding in plain site.
And how about that singular Bloodroot holding it down for others to sprout?
It’s just an anomaly; an off year.
Either way, I caught a good couple of miles of mixed terrain on this final day of my third decade in this life. That’s a gift enough in its own right.