In 1972 Richard Mabey wrote a book called “Food for Free” which was published by Collins. This book has proved so popular it is still in print and Collins also have produced a pocket sized “gem” edition.
Living in Lanarkshire, the damp conditions beside the Rivers Avon and Clyde provide an excellent environment for many of the plants mentioned in the above book. I have tried some of the recipes in the book including:
- wild garlic leaves in salads
- heather tea
- dandelion leaf salad
- dandelion root coffee
- comfrey leaf salad
- cooked chickweed
Many of the flowers can also be found in many gardens so it is not always essential to walk miles to get free food. Although Richard Mabey includes a chapter on fungi, I have not tried to eat any unless bought from a shop.
Summer is also when the birds rear their young. On the River Clyde a female Goosander was on the water with her youngsters. When she saw us she swam to the other side of the river with her goslings.
|Goosander and Goslings|
The Goosander was quite far away and we only had a compact camera, but we managed to get a blurry photograph. It was quite a cold day despite it being at the end of May and the goslings tucked themselves under mum’s feathers to keep warm.
A pair of adult Greylag Geese were also on the water with their youngsters and were not afraid of the people walking about.
|Mallard Ducks and Ducklings|
Yes, summertime is a great time for those who love wildlife.