Every year while still deep in winter, spring starts to stir deep inside of us. It is a yearning, a quiet prayer for that which is sleeping to awake. It is patiently waiting in the magnolia and daphne buds. Less patiently in the hazelnut catkins and flowers. All around and within, buds are yearning to spring forth. Winter birds are considering their young yet to come. Honeybee dreams are conjuring up flowers of the future. The imaginings of many future creations are stirring inside the present. We wait, we long for, and we celebrate when it arrives. At this moment on a cold, quiet, winter day, the consideration of spring is almost deafening.
I am out today tasting the hazelnut catkins. The pollen laden hazelnut catkins are eaten by some birds and are a protein source. The newer, not yet open catkins are slightly bitter and astringent tasting. As they open and get closer to releasing pollen the astringency decreases and they become better tasting. I leave the catkins for the birds. Good to know they are available as a survival food and that the new catkins are an astringent source I can consider for medicine. I will wait for the fall to collect from this tree in the form of yummy hazelnuts. Not even spring yet and I am thinking of fall.