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The Birds
Notes on Hgh Country Foraging: August-September 2019


As I have roamed about Summit County, Ducshane County and Rich County Utah, I have encountered an entirely different set of edible flora than last year.

I was informed that despite the flush year of snowfall and rainfall that many plants would not be giving due to a late June frost.

Where bushels of rose hips were there for the picking last year, the current offering might be a pint over a week of foraging, so I am leaving them for the deer and bears.

The apple crop is gone.

The crabapple crop is gone.

An apricot tree that had not yielded in 6 years is dropping much fruit and Dante and I gathered about 15 pounds from the lower branches.

There were some mushrooms in early August, but otherwise as slim as last year.

The Oregon grape crop is great and untouched by birds due to being under low holy leaves which tear up your hands when you pick them and the fact that the two patches are near well-stocked bird feeders.

The choke cherry crop, ignored by birds last year, has been totally eaten.

The elderberry crop, ignored by birds until late September last year, has already been well-eaten. Seeing this I decided to forgo elderberry this year as the birds seem in need—something must be driving them as they feed much more aggressively than last year, squawking when I come near. In fact, a dove kept me company while I ditched and hauled this week up at Bear Lake, walking around behind me looking for scraps as I stacked blocks.

And, while I was finishing the retaining wall at the overlook, Dante and Bob spent all day on the Green River fishing and didn't bring a one home, which seems to have to do with a great growth of water moss. One fish whose stomach they pumped was shown to not even be eating, very much against type for this time of year.

Something is in the air up here.

Are the birds saying something?

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Add Comment
Lou GasSeptember 6, 2019 9:50 PM UTC

Sounds like a bad omen for fall/winter...