Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My Second Baltimore Bowman Event

Last weekend I attended the Baltimore Bowman Traditional Classic for the second year in a row. Like last year I rented a car and drove from Indy to Washington D.C. and then to Baltimore. I hung out with my brother and some other friends. The focus of the weekend was shooting 3d targets. I didn't take pictures of shooting because it was basically the same as last year.

Learning wild edible and medicinal plants was an added bonus of my trip. My brother taught me many. All of them were ones that could be eaten raw. To me there is something cool about being able to feed yourself on plants as you're casually walking through the woods. I think it's the instant gratification. It's food that's free and the energy exerted is just that of grabbing a leaf. There is also a scout aspect to it. You can travel long distances without stopping. You don't need a fire that could give away your location.

I took pictures of some of the plants I tried out last weekend. Each name is linked to a external reference for more information.

Wood Sorrel - This has a lemony taste. According to the reference, it is more a medicinal plant than an edible. I guess you wouldn't want to eat too much of this at one time.

Black Locust - According to the reference all parts of the tree are very poisonous except the flowers. Luckily the flowers were the only part I ate. They are very good. They have a slight sweet taste to them. I ate many handfuls of these throughout the weekend.

Cleavers - I ate the whole stalk. The link says that the seeds of this plant often end up in cereal grains because they are hard to filter out so you may have already eaten this plant and not known it. It also says that the plant can be used to treat skin diseases.

Garlic Mustard - This is an invasive species. It has an effect on the soil that makes it harder for native species to grow. I ate the leaves of this plant. It tastes like it is named. The first picture is the plant in it's first year. The second picture is it's second year.

Tinder Fungus - While gathering black locust flowers, I noticed a fungus growing on the tree. This fungus can be used as tinder for making fire by friction. After reading the linked article I found out that this isn't "true" tinder fungus. When I lit it, it did burn for awhile before going out so I think it's good stuff.

Finally, I made my first quality biface on the trip. The stone is dacite which is a little bit harder than obsidian on the lithic scale. I mostly used small stones to take this from a big chunk of rock down to this form. I wanted to get a picture of this before I try to take this down to a nice point in case I make a bad mistake.