|PASQUE FLOWER...A LITTLE LATE|
|RITTENHOUSE AVE. CONSTRUTION|
|OSTRICH FERN FIDDLE HEAD|
|UNIQUE V-SHAPPED GROVE IN FROND STEM|
The big news around town is that Rittenhouse Ave., our main drag, is completely torn up from third street to first street, which is about the extent of our main drag. Road, gutters and everything underneath, including water and sewer. It is supposed to be finished by the Fourth of July and good progress is being made. Most of the businesses remain open and accessible by alley and sidewalk. Unfortunately no provisions were made, despite the attempts of a number of us, to include street trees in the remake. All the old photos from the forties and fifties have large shade trees on Rittenhouse and that would have been a fine historical touch. We will have new, old-fashioned street lights, though if that is any consolation.
The Pasque flower, Anemone patens, AKA wind flower, is blooming in the front garden. Somewhat late, I might add. For more information and prior flowering dates, use the blog search engine.
We have some ostrich ferns in the little herb garden on the north side of the house, and since the young spring growth, called fiddle heads, are edible and often featured in local upscale restaurants in the spring, I decided to cook some for lunch yesterday. They were quite good boiled until tender, then sautéed with butter and salt. To my palate they tasted like a mild version of asparagus. The ostrich fern, Pteretis pensilvanica, is native to much of North America, and grows in rich bottomlands and woods. The mature fronds are from three to six feet tall and quite dominant in the landscape. It is also recognizable by the prominent, almost woody base from which the leaves grow, by a rather unique v-shapped groove in the stem of the frond, and by the separate fertile fronds which bear the spores by which the plant reproduces (ferns are primitive plants which have no flowers).
There are other edible fern fiddle heads (the unfolding fern frond in the spring is shaped like a fiddle head), including the sensitive fern and the lady fern, but the ostrich fern is the one usually eaten. As far as I know, no ferns are actually poisonous, so this is not like picking wild mushrooms. There is a lot of good information available about edible ferns, their identification and how to cook them, on the internet. Give it a try, but hurry, as spring and the fiddleheads will soon be gone.
As will be Attorney General Eric Holder, I am sure. His excuse for not knowing about the IRS scandal of targeting conservative groups and individuals was, "I recused myself." Only a lawyer could come up with recusing himself from his job. Sort of like taking a sick day when the potatoes need to be hoed.