I've long wanted to try them. Straight from the woods. Fresh. Local. Free! Sauteed with a bit of butter and garlic. Sounds intriguing.
I sauntered down around the pond and collected a handful of what appeared to be fiddle heads, and fiddle-headed my way home.
However, after doing a bit of research, I had to concede defeat. As best I could tell, I had picked Goldie's Wood Fern, not Ostrich fern. Dooh.
Who knew we have over 50 varieties of ferns here in NL! (Peter J. Scott and Glen Ryan knew I suspect...just to name two. I have links to their useful books below. I think they may know everything about local plants.)
In the meantime, finding an Ostrich in all that fern may prove to be a challenge for me, but I found a useful YouTube video by Dave Fuller from the University of Maine that helps to identify the fiddle heads of an Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris).
I guess sauteed fiddle heads will be a project for another day. In fact, for another year, as the annual unfurling is pretty much complete by now.
Rhodora and sheep laurel.
Rhodora provides that first splash of colour in the woods in June. Specifically, Rhododendron canadense (L.) Torr. It is that carpet of fuschia you currently see in the woods, in fact.
Sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia L) starts to bloom just after rhodora. Also know as lambkill, gold-withy or goo-witty, sheep laurel contains the poison andromedotoxin; likely the reason why it is also know as lambkill. So don't eat it. Stick with the fiddle heads!