Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wild and Wet in Norfolk

So I should have known better than to book some quality outdoors time with the other half on a British bank holiday weekend. A walk in the countryside? No, a spot of camping was the order of the weekend.
Camping in a lovely 5 star campsite? Er no, wild camping: wild as in remote, in the woods sans mod cons. And rain. Plenty of it too! Still it was a chance to hang out together in the fresh air - literally, as we use a hammock and tarpaulin system for shelter.
Foraging was a mixed bag; to one side of the woods was a field full of baby lettuce, and a few small fat hen plants. The field margins were full of burdock, dandelion, nettle and dock. All a bit too mature for tender eating, and it's been very dry, so a lot of the plants were looking tough and chewy. They may have been ok in a survival situation, but it was a tad too far out of my comfort zone!
Better news on the other side of the wood, which was sandy heathland dotted with oak, hawthorn and rabbit holes: there was a simply astounding red tinge to the grass, which turned out to be the flowering stems of sheep sorrel- yay! Something good to eat! Further on I found some wild strawberry plants - not yet fruited, but noted for a return visit later on this year. Last but not least, a good quantity of very slippery slippery jacks (suillus luteus) They were delicious fried up with an onion and some wild garlic paste and eaten with slices of bread and butter, as we watched the the tree tops whipping around in the wind and listened to the hiss of raindrops on the fire... time to go home, methinks!

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