Note: On winter hiatus, next walk in April. Meetup for those interested in Natural History & Foraging walks in the DMV Washington DC metro area (although the preponderance of walks are likely to be located within Montgomery County, MD).
Share your knowledge, explore and learn. Co-leads & walk suggestions welcome.
Pace - naturalist shuffle to normal walking pace. Children (w/ their parents) are welcome as long as they are old enough to do the walk/hike.
Please note the Meetup organizer and nominal leader of most of these walks is severely allergic / chemically sensitive to fragrances, petrochemicals, etc., so for most of these walks, participants are requested to restrain from using perfumes/colognes, scented sunscreen, and other scented personal care products; and with regard to bug spray restrain/minimize and only us if it becomes absolutely necessary.
RSVPs - As these types of walks necessitate limiting the number of participants, please take your RSVP to attend our Meetup walk seriously and change it promptly if your plans change, so that others who might want to attend may do so.
By replying "Yes" to attending this event, you acknowledge that you are responsible for your own safety and agree not to hold the organizers / hosts responsible in the event of an accident or personal injury. Participating in the walk is done at the participants' own risk.
Foraging cautions and ethics
(thanks to Matt Cohen of Matts Habitats Nature Walks for authoring this write-up):
· Only eat something if you are absolutely sure of its identification. There are a minority of plants and fungi that can kill even if you eat a small amount. There are many more that can cause gastrointestinal distress and other discomfort.
· When sampling something for the first time, try a little bit and wait a few hours or a day. If it sits well with you, try more and wait. Everyone has different body chemistries and may react to new food unpredictably.
· As a general rule, all wild mushrooms (that are edible) should be cooked before being consumed.
· Cultivate a respectful attitude when foraging. Think of yourself as a gardener and nature is our shared yard. When harvesting plants, only take from species where there is an abundant population. Rare and threatened plants should be avoided altogether. Invasive, exotic plants can be harvested to your heart's content and beyond! Also, adhere to the rules of parks regarding any gathering of plants or fungi.
· Use caution in areas that may be polluted: roadsides, pesticides, contaminated water, etc. Plants and fungus can not only have contamination on the outside, but they can also uptake poisons in the ground or water.
· Learn to identify poison ivy. Check for ticks after a walk. (Long pants (preferably tucked into your socks) are helpful for preventing both.)