Raven Knows Best

No matter how busy you are… how many chores are waiting… when you are invited on a long explore by Raven…

you follow…

otherwise, you would have missed this reminder of how small your worries are compared to the grandness of a giant puffy cloud in an endless blue sky

that grace and beauty can pop up out of the most unexpected places

that something as small as a dime can stop you in your tracks

and that even a long, forgotten stump can be quite lovely when the sunlight hits it just right.

You are reminded that you are so lucky to have such a great companion, because in the case of a long explore, Raven really does know best.

A Long Explore

A beautiful, very early Sunday morning… let’s join Raven on a long explore.

This little spring-fed brook is one of our favorite secret places.

It is particularly lovely in the early morning sunlight.

Our little, shallow spring-fed brook is lined with moss covered stones.

Ok, this is our real destination, we were really coming to check on the Ramp (Allium tricoccum Aiton) patch! Here in the West Virginia hills, spring is Ramp season. Since they are one of the first plants to emerge in the spring, they are traditionally eaten as the first greens of the season. It is believed that Native Americans taught settlers to eat this wild leek as a spring tonic. Ramps are high in vitamins C and A, helpful minerals and reduce cholestrol, so the folk medicine reputation is well deserved. They are very strong and spicy so they also do a good job of keeping the ‘Non-Ramp Eaters’ at a distance.

Even our distinguished United States Senator, the honorable Robert C. Byrd, sings the
praises of the Mighty Ramp
In West Virginia, the emergence of the Ramp, after our long winters, is certainly a cause for celebration. You can visit a Ramp Farm, and you can even buy Ramp Wine. We hold numerous Ramp Festivals and in every hill and holler you will find churches and volunteer fire departments holding Ramp Feeds. As a matter of fact, come join us at the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Ramp Dinner on Sunday, April 26th, and celebrate spring in the West Virginia mountains!
Edited to add:
Ramp dinner noon-4 p.m. April 26th at the Aurora Fire Dept. Includes ham, fried potatoes, (with or without ramps), soup beans, cooked ramps, raw ramps, ramp salad, corn muffins (with or without ramps, desserts and drinks. Cost $8 per person.