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tennswede
08-23-2009, 05:28 PM
I have to warn you all on Abrams. Got to the trail head at 7:30 am. No one else in sight. I noticed the bear warning signs and it always make me feel a little more alert when I see those. I didn't make it more than a quarter mile in at the most when I literally ran in to a big black bear. It was unbelievable freaky. It was apparently trying to climb a tree as I didn't see it behind the tree trunk. We literally stared at each other for about ten second or so. I managed to keep my cool and began growling as loud as I could while I poked my wading stick in the ground. The bear took off about fifty yards up the hill but here's where it got scary. The bear stopped turned around and just stood there staring at me. I have encountered numerous bears over the years in the park but this one made me feel uneasy. I suspect it is somewhat used to people along that trail. I began yelling again and hitting my stick in the ground while slowly backing up. It finally went further up the hill and I went back to the trail head. I waited for another gentleman to show up. I needed someone to walk with me if I was going to get to my fishing spot.

I have never been this close to a black bear, it was no more than 6 ft at the most. guess who will be having nightmares tonight! LOL.

Then when I was driving out of the cove here comes another bear. This one even bigger, but at least now I was in my vehicle. The park is loaded with bears right now, as well as deer wading the creek, Great Blue Herons and a pair of otters. Wildlife is on the move folks. Turkeys at the trail head won't even move out of the way for the people. It made for an interesting day to say the least.

As for the fishing check out my blog.

BlueRaiderFan
08-23-2009, 09:03 PM
At least you scared it. Sounds like you had a great time otherwise. I will be in the area on Labor Day weekend if you or anyone else gets board and needs a fishing/hiking partner.

Tarheelflyfishing
08-23-2009, 09:35 PM
Hey Bo Bo!! He just wanted to see what was in you're picnic basket!! To me, black bears are worse than grizzlies. I've heard of black bears actually stalking people. I was up at Cades Cove/Abrams on Thursday, saw a lot of deer and turkey, but fortunately the black bears eluded me.

The Park service has done a pretty good job at preventing further black bear problems. The locking dumpsters are excellent. They definately keep the bears out. It took me a minute to open and close those things. :eek:

Carlito
08-24-2009, 08:32 AM
Hans, I have to ask since you were so close to that bear... did you happen to notice if it smelled badly? I have often heard that bears are very stinky. Saturday some friends and I fished Ramsay Prong, and on the way out we noticed a very pungent odor that smelled basically like road kill. We were a good distance up the trail to Ramsay Cascades, and we didn't see any dead creatures laying around. We were speculating if it could have been a bear down wind.

russ
08-24-2009, 08:44 AM
We've been around the Cades Cove Loop a bunch of times this year and have not seen any of the bears! Everyone keeps telling us that sightings are more numerous this year, but not for us.

Off topic: Last night we heard and saw something very, very rare. We were at the cable mill visitor center and heard QUAIL calling each other. Then we actually saw a covey of about 20 birds rise from under a tree and scatter. Don't know what busted them up, maybe a snake. Then they all started calling again. It was really neat and much better than seeing a bear. Of course no one around us appreciated the significance of it all. The only people paying any attention to it were old men. I had my dog with me and almost let him "accidently" get away from me to see if he would go over there and point them. But I figured the rangers would throw us under the jail for that one.

Rog 1
08-24-2009, 09:36 AM
Bears do smell...especially in the summer months when the temps are up...the smell is like BO but on a nuclear scale....

rivergal
08-24-2009, 09:45 AM
Hans, you get the John Wayne award for standing your ground eye to eye with that bear. A couple of years ago a bear growled at me, showed his teeth, snorted, and slapped the ground. Thank goodness I had a brochure
about bear encounters in the park.

Carlito
08-24-2009, 10:34 AM
Bears do smell...especially in the summer months when the temps are up...the smell is like BO but on a nuclear scale....

That's what my buddy said he had heard about them. I thought perhaps they might wallow on a carcass like dogs do and pick up some of that eau du roadkill.

Carlito
08-24-2009, 10:37 AM
We've been around the Cades Cove Loop a bunch of times this year and have not seen any of the bears! Everyone keeps telling us that sightings are more numerous this year, but not for us.

Off topic: Last night we heard and saw something very, very rare. We were at the cable mill visitor center and heard QUAIL calling each other. Then we actually saw a covey of about 20 birds rise from under a tree and scatter. Don't know what busted them up, maybe a snake. Then they all started calling again. It was really neat and much better than seeing a bear. Of course no one around us appreciated the significance of it all. The only people paying any attention to it were old men. I had my dog with me and almost let him "accidently" get away from me to see if he would go over there and point them. But I figured the rangers would throw us under the jail for that one.

Russ, that is very cool. We used to have tons of quail and whipperwills on my parents' farm up on the Clinch when I was a kid, but it has been years and years since we've seen any. I have no idea what drove them out, but they are long gone up around Norris, at least near my folks.

Rebelsoul
08-24-2009, 11:43 AM
Russ, that is very cool. We used to have tons of quail and whipperwills on my parents' farm up on the Clinch when I was a kid, but it has been years and years since we've seen any. I have no idea what drove them out, but they are long gone up around Norris, at least near my folks.
My grandpa could sit on his back porch and call in a quail by whistleing to them...I've seen him do it many times,I tried but didn't have the patience he did.
Now there no quail around here,because of coyotes I've been told.
I miss them.

GrouseMan77
08-24-2009, 11:55 AM
"My grandpa could sit on his back porch and call in a quail by whistleing to them...I've seen him do it many times,I tried but didn't have the patience he did.
Now there no quail around here,because of coyotes I've been told.
I miss them."

There are several reasons quail are no longer around. House cats, foxes and the development of almost every inch of land are just a few. Listening to the call of quail and dove are to things I love to do.

Grannyknot
08-24-2009, 11:58 AM
I have no idea what drove them out, but they are long gone up around Norris, at least near my folks.

I'd say 1 of 2 things...either those 2 vicious ferretts, or that dog-bear-pig named prince. :biggrin:

silvercreek
08-24-2009, 12:28 PM
We have a few on the property of the Hermitage, the home of Andrew Jackson. I heard them this spring, but I haven't heard them since. My neighbor whistles to them and they will answer. Hope they are still around.

Rog 1
08-24-2009, 03:04 PM
It is not that of smell...my lab will find anything dead within a mile of the house and roll in it until you can't get within 10 feet of her....it is just good old fashion body odor...I read an article in one of my grandfather's Outdoor Life magazine about hunts for gorillas and one of the points was that their body odor would give away their location...I believe it is their sweat under all that fur that just ripens in the heat...I remember when you could drive up to the FCP fork we would get there before first light and start up the trail for a head start....had just forded the LR and gotten back on the trail when that smell hit us....first and only time that was tried.

pmike
08-24-2009, 03:16 PM
Last trip up I noticed an odor at our rental cabin that smelled very similar to a skunk, not as strong but very musky. As i stood outside the odor got a bit stronger, then after a few minutes it went away. I figured it must have been a bear and had already been told there was one in the area that liked to rob trash cans.

On a trip or two before that one I noticed a similar smell while fishing around Treemont, and afterward heard some hikers talk about having seen a bear back up the trail they had just come down.

Mike

PS: You don't suppose the bear that Hans saw was forming a gang of sorts with those wiley little otters do ya :O)

GrouseMan77
08-24-2009, 03:21 PM
I have smelled bears before I saw them on two different occasions.

The first was just off the Rainbow Falls trail near Le Conte. Mid summer, my wife and I decided to take the side trail, mentioned in the little brown book that reconnects to R.F. Thick vegetation, could hear at least one blowing at us but never got a visual. Yes, it was definitely a bear.

The second was on the Russell Field trail.

I have also run across several hikers on the park’s trails who must relish in the rolling in of dead carcasses. :mad:

kytroutman
08-24-2009, 03:25 PM
Bears have a musk smell. To me, it's more like a cross between skunk and roadkill.

Carlito
08-24-2009, 05:35 PM
I'd say 1 of 2 things...either those 2 vicious ferretts, or that dog-bear-pig named prince. :biggrin:

ROTFLMAO! Yes, you are probably correct.

tennswede
08-24-2009, 09:41 PM
Carlito,

Actually, I didn't smell it at the time but got a whiff from the bear later on. I say it was lurking around in the bushes all day. The smell was kind of like what people describe on here. Skunky road kill kind.

Bran
08-25-2009, 08:34 AM
There are way more than just one or two reasons for the demise of the Bobwhite Quail, but the best biologists still differ opinions of what or why. I started posting on Pointingdog journal.com about 3 years ago about my own study. It's been interesting and far too involved to go into right now but I sowed plots of native and warm season grasses on our farm and managed our land specifically for Quail since 2006. I released 300 6 week old chicks in 2007. Right now I have about 4 good coveys on 165 acres and in the Spring I could listen in the evening and count 7 or 8 males calling from any point on the farm.
It's been an adventure, an investment, and a reward all together. I've enjoyed it and I'm hopeful that my German Shorthair may have some birds to point this Fall.

Rog 1
08-25-2009, 08:41 AM
We have a research facility near us that does work on this very same question...very interesting what they do....one of the things they stress is the periodic use of controlled burning....double benefit....better habitat for the quail and less fuel base for forest fires if they occur.

GrouseMan77
08-25-2009, 08:45 AM
Bran,

I am in the early stages of a project that sounds similar to that which you described. I hope I am as successful.

How old is GSP? Mine first GSP, a female, is coming up on 9 months.

gg1262
08-25-2009, 10:33 AM
That is so cool that there are some quail in the cove. We were just there 3 weeks ago and while driving around I told my wife that if there wasn't, there should be. I spend a LOT of time chasing after Bobwhites in SE Indiana on the farms I grew up on (English Setter by the way Bran and Grouseman). Habitat loss is by far our biggest bugaboo. Everybody has to clean up every fencerow and swath of rough ground. Then, if it was good habitat, it is now fescue, which in my opinion should be labeled a noxious weed. Finally, we've lost all but the last of the coon hunters. As such, coon populations are out of control and they rob nests. Adult coveys can fly away, a nest is just going to set there for the feast. At least that is my unscientific but field researched 2 pennies worth!!

Bran
08-25-2009, 11:17 AM
Greg,
You've nailed a bunch of our problems too! Grouseman, my girl is 2 now (3 in Nov.). She is doing really well.
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z9/bmidkiff_photos/gsp2.jpg
http://i190.photobucket.com/albums/z9/bmidkiff_photos/Picture017.jpg

GrouseMan77
08-25-2009, 12:18 PM
That is a great looking dog. I need to work on getting some pictures on line.

Jack
08-25-2009, 01:15 PM
Glad to see how many of you guys have a GSP. I have had 7 of them in the last 40 yrs. Can't think of a better breed for company and a lil hunting.

Jim Casada
08-25-2009, 05:58 PM
Bran--I'm old enough to have grown up when there were lots of bobwhites, even in the mountains where habitat was not optimal. Now they are scarce as hen's teeth. I've written a fair amount on the subject over the years and talked to a bunch of folks as well. Here are some, but by no means all, of the reasons for the bird's demise.
*Tenant farmers, who killed nest predators such as skunks, 'possums, snakes, and 'coons, have vanished like the quail.
*Clean farming--no more uncut peafiled corners or tangled fence rows.
*Less small farming with all the fine habitat it offered.
*A huge surge in raptor numbers--when I was a lad every hawk was a "chicken hawk" and they were shot (or at least shot at) on sight. Same thing goes for the hooters.
*'Coon hunters no longer kill what they hunt.
*Advent of coyotes.
*Far more bobcats than once was the case.
*Precious few prime habitat areas such as broomsedge fields, old house places, and the like.
*Pine deserts. After about five years, planted pines become useless habitat for much of anything.
*Changed human attitudes--deer and turkey are THE game animals to most of today's hunters--and when's the last time you heard of someone leaving the corner of a peafield uncut?
*Maybe the biggest problem of all--too many humans.
I'd make one other point about Gentleman Bob--The heyday of the great little bird, "five ounces of feathered dynamite," as Havilah Babcock put it, was actually something of an anomaly. King Cotton had fallen from his throne, tenant farmers were omnipresent, and big game animals were virtually non-existent (I saw precisely 10 deer before I went off to college, and I was outdoors a great deal). Ruark, Buckingham, Babock, Rutledge, Elliott, and others of their ilk lived in a magical time to hunt quail.
Now, lest this thread get totally away from trout and fishing, I'll finish with a quail-connected matter worthy of note. A primary quail wing feather, dyed yellow, makes a fine substitute for the real thing (which is illegal) in tying that most traditional of mountain patterns, a Yellarhammar. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

silvercreek
08-25-2009, 07:27 PM
While we are wandering from trout to bears and now quail, I'll get my two cents in. Several years ago while in a gun shop I saw a brochure by some quail organization that said cats, both domestic and feral, were a major contributor to the decline of quail. The Nature Conservancy in discussing pets stated that if you must have a pet "try not to have one that does its level best to kill every other creature". Oh yeah I do like cats, and almost always have had a least one around, but I do keep them up.

Rog 1
08-26-2009, 09:38 AM
I will add one more thing to the above list of things that have led to the demise of local quail populations....Dollywood. When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to hunt these wonderful birds while on Xmas break to my grandparents up and down the old Middlecreek area between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge....with the advent of Dollywood and the attendant growth many of the places I used to hunt are now under asphalt or built over with tourist cabins....

sammcdonald
08-26-2009, 10:32 AM
back to bears for a moment.....bears have stolen at least 2 backpacks near grotto falls and one at laurel falls....all backpacks contained food and were left unattended.....at laurel falls the owner of said food laden pack tried to use bear spray and shot himself....bear got away after ransacking the pack

Jim Casada
08-26-2009, 11:31 AM
Silvercreek--Shame on me for not mentioning feral cats. They are an absolute menance for quail, songbirds, and cottontails. Locally, an animal control guy told me they estimated 50,000 feral cats in the county where I live. I doubted it until I had some problems and had traps set up on my place--seven cats in four days, and only one of them had a flea collar or evidence of being a domestic cat. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

silvercreek
08-26-2009, 11:44 AM
Especially if you live in the country and are going to let your pet cat roam, at least put a collar on it with a bell.

kytroutman
08-26-2009, 12:05 PM
Especially if you live in the country and are going to let your pet cat roam, at least put a collar on it with a bell.

Add to that, spaying and neutering.

Carlito
08-26-2009, 12:16 PM
I vote we start a club to catch and train feral cats to hunt otters. They could be little kitty commandos.

rivergal
08-26-2009, 12:49 PM
There is a good article on Bobwhite quail restoration in Tennessee Wildlife magazine Fall 2009 along with some good game recipes from Mr. Casada.

Jim Casada
08-26-2009, 02:04 PM
Rivergal--Thanks for the kind words about my piece on game cookery in the current issue of Tennessee Wildlife. Wild foods (game, fish, nuts, berries, and other bounty from nature) have always been of great interest and importance to me. In company with my wife, who is the real expert when it comes to cooking (though I like to think I'm a fair hand in culinary matters), I have written a bunch of cookbooks over the years.
Horror of horrors, there's even a chapter on cooking trout in my new book. My Mom's idea of catch-and-release was release to grease, and fortunately the situation in most streams in the Smokies is one of too many trout. Thus keeping a few fish to adorn with cornbread dinner jackets is not a problem. Of course if you hold a different view, just release them, and I would urge everyone to release the trophy-sized fish. Besides, a seven- or eight-incher makes much finer fare and a big 'un anyway.
It will be interesting to see what sort of reaction these comments bring, because I've talked to enough groups over the years to realize that "hook to cook" can stir real passions on both sides. Just remember I'm a son of the Smokies and trout have long been a part of mountain fare--and fortunately this is a part of the world where eating the occasional mess of fish is, if anything, a boon to most streams.
I'll also add that you haven't really lived until you've had a springtime mess of perfectly fried trout, golden brown in the pan, with side dishes of ramps and "kilt" branch lettuce. If you don't know what I'm talking about, yours has been a life of culinary deprivation:). Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

Carlito
08-26-2009, 02:20 PM
Jim, I personally relish the occasional trout... cornmeal battered and fried or on a stick over an open fire in the backcountry, it's hard to beat fresh rainbow trout! Do you have any recommendations for books on wild edibles in our region? That is a topic I've always wanted to learn more about. I have very fond childhood memories of trips into the woods with my family hunting for merrell mushrooms, poke salad, and the occasional squirrel :smile:

sammcdonald
08-26-2009, 03:49 PM
one ramp is enuff to keep ya stinky for days

Rog 1
08-26-2009, 05:03 PM
I spent my summers at my grandparents in Sevierville...learned to trout fish following my kinfolk along the Tn. streams...fish were caught to be eaten and eat them we did with relish....I am only lucky enough to get to fish the mtns a couple of times a year if I am lucky but at least one meal during the week is devoted to my memories of those fried jewels of my youth...Mr. Casada is right....these mountain streams can only carry so many fish and if you keep putting everything back the overpopulation can only lead to smaller and smaller fish....anyone who has ever had a farm pond knows that if you don't harvest some fish occasionally the result will be nothing but runts....have never had the pleasure of eating a mountain ramp but one spring I walked out of Elkmont behing a couple of locals with them hanging out of the pockets of their overalls and one in their mouths....it was hard just walking behind them and I imagine they slept alone that night.

sammcdonald
08-26-2009, 05:12 PM
found a ramp patch above tremont a few years ago....glad it illegal to take them....i'd have been celebate for 6 months

Jim Casada
08-26-2009, 05:39 PM
Sam--How true that is. When I was a youngster growing up in Swain County it was fairly common for someone to come to school in the spring who had had a "bait" of ramps. Talk about a smell--the odor totally redefines halitosis and always brought a three-day suspensions from school.
Similarly, if you are on a camping trip and one fellow eats them, rest assured everyone will--once you have sampled this delicacy you don't smell others.
Oddly enough, cooked ramps have no smell to speak of and have become a favorite ingredient in haute cuisine. Also, while they have a mighty potent smell they are mild to the taste, even when eaten raw. I love 'em. Jim Casada

Jim Casada
08-26-2009, 05:45 PM
Carlito--Given the fact that I'm sitting in a houe with something over 500 cookbooks on the shelves, yes, I can help. First of all, my wife and I wrote an award-winning cookbook, Wild Bounty, which contains nothing but game and wild food recipes. Since we both grew up in this general part of the world (me in Bryson City, her in Virginia) those recipes lean heavily to mountain fixin's. You can find out about the book on my website, www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com).
Then there's Joseph Dabney's splendid Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine. It ranges widely but is basically Appalachian in thrust. Yet another book is Mountain Fixin's (I don't remember the author). It is a slender paperback and maybe a bit more in the "stomach stuffer" category, but it does focus on high country foods. Hope this helps a bit. Jim Casada

silvercreek
08-26-2009, 06:05 PM
I've got a friend that has gotten into dutch oven cooking. Man, what food. I look forward to our annual mountain trip as much for the food as the fishing. Great way to cook outdoors.

Carlito
08-26-2009, 11:13 PM
Carlito--Given the fact that I'm sitting in a houe with something over 500 cookbooks on the shelves, yes, I can help. First of all, my wife and I wrote an award-winning cookbook, Wild Bounty, which contains nothing but game and wild food recipes. Since we both grew up in this general part of the world (me in Bryson City, her in Virginia) those recipes lean heavily to mountain fixin's. You can find out about the book on my website, www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com).
Then there's Joseph Dabney's splendid Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine. It ranges widely but is basically Appalachian in thrust. Yet another book is Mountain Fixin's (I don't remember the author). It is a slender paperback and maybe a bit more in the "stomach stuffer" category, but it does focus on high country foods. Hope this helps a bit. Jim Casada

Thanks, Jim! I'll have a look :smile:

Rebel
09-03-2009, 02:20 PM
Hans, you get the John Wayne award for standing your ground eye to eye with that bear. A couple of years ago a bear growled at me, showed his teeth, snorted, and slapped the ground. Thank goodness I had a brochure
about bear encounters in the park.


What good was the brochure? Did the bear read it or did you read it to him? :smile: Just kidding.

ChemEAngler
09-03-2009, 02:30 PM
I was up in the cove last Friday, and just past the Abrams trailhead there was a momma and 3 cubs. There were 3 rangers there keeping people away, and they said that she was quite agitated at the people. I heard one older lady telling the rangers that the momma had actually charged her vehicle while they were sitting there. Good thing that this probably isn't the same bear you ran into on the trail.

SWAMPUS
09-04-2009, 07:36 AM
Can't believe nooone commented on these.They're delish!For the un-enlightened,you'll find them around seeps.They're curly like some lettuces.Pick,wash,put in bowl and drizzle with hot oil and eat.Makes a great alternative salad!

Jim Casada
09-04-2009, 08:08 AM
Swampus--You are certainly right about this delicacy. I've never heard the term branch greens before but rather branch lettuce or bear lettuce. The plan is actually saxifrage, I believe. One thing I wonder about, and I'm not sure on this. Is it legal to harvest and eat such delicacies in the Park. I know that historically folks have gathered branch lettuce, ramps, and the like in the Park to eat, but there's also the "no pick" rule about flowers, etc. I'm almost positive it's all right to pick blackberries, huckleberries, wild strawberries, and the like, but in this case I wonder. Someone will probably know.
Incidentally, my favorite way to eat branch lettuce and ramps is "kilt" with a dressing of hot bits of crumbled bacon and some of the bacon grease poured straight from the frying pan onto the salad. Jim Casada

SWAMPUS
09-04-2009, 08:17 AM
Jim -don't know about the Park.I've got a place up Brush Creek-sure you know where that is-and find them going to the cabin.I said hot oil so the chlorestoral minders wouldn't freak,but your bacon suggestion is zackerly how the wife fixes them!BTW-you still live in Swain Co.?

Jim Casada
09-04-2009, 09:27 AM
Swampus--Yep, I know where Brush Creek is and I'll give you a historical tidbit you might not know about where you live. If you drive to the end of the state-maintained road on Brush Creek, the log cabin you are looking at on the left was once the home of Babe Burnett. He's the man who shot Hol Rose, a shooting made famous by Horace Kephart devoting a chapter to it in Our Southern Highlanders. A first cousin of mine owns property right where Brush Creek and Marr Creek meet, and I've hunted squirrels many a time on ridges above Brush Creek.
No, I do not live in Swain County. I've been gone since heading off to undergraduate school in 1960. However, my father, who celebrated his 100th birthday last month, still lives in the house where I grew up. One of us (I have two siblings) stays with him all the times, and I was there most of the summer and will be back next week. Jim Casada
P. S. Your wife is a smart lady if she serves "kilt" branch lettuce.

silvercreek
09-04-2009, 10:12 AM
My folks (from Kentucky) called wilt not kilt. Mom used regular lettuce, with the bacon bits, bacon grease and a little chopped up green onion mixed in. Good summer fare.

ChemEAngler
09-04-2009, 10:15 AM
Swampus--You are certainly right about this delicacy. I've never heard the term branch greens before but rather branch lettuce or bear lettuce. The plan is actually saxifrage, I believe. One thing I wonder about, and I'm not sure on this. Is it legal to harvest and eat such delicacies in the Park. I know that historically folks have gathered branch lettuce, ramps, and the like in the Park to eat, but there's also the "no pick" rule about flowers, etc. I'm almost positive it's all right to pick blackberries, huckleberries, wild strawberries, and the like, but in this case I wonder. Someone will probably know.
Incidentally, my favorite way to eat branch lettuce and ramps is "kilt" with a dressing of hot bits of crumbled bacon and some of the bacon grease poured straight from the frying pan onto the salad. Jim Casada

Making me hungry. I have had "kilt" lettuce and onions before, but I can only imagine how good bear lettuce and ramps would be. I need to try that sometime.

SWAMPUS
09-08-2009, 09:33 AM
I live about a mile back of said cabin and 300 ft higher.Branch Greens all around.Chem,don't forget the POKE salad.Be careful,tho.Can't eat but only a certain part-don't know which.

flyred06
09-08-2009, 03:26 PM
I just received my copy of the new book. Can not wait for the read. Thanks Paula for the fast shipping.

Jim Casada
09-08-2009, 07:00 PM
I live about a mile back of said cabin and 300 ft higher.Branch Greens all around.Chem,don't forget the POKE salad.Be careful,tho.Can't eat but only a certain part-don't know which.
Poke sallet (all right, if you are a flatlander I'll accept salad) is best when the tender shoots are cut early in the spring. The roots are toxic and the new growth really should be brought to a boil three times with the water being poured off and replaced the first two times. Topped with boiled eggs and some bacon crumbles, it's a spring dish fit for a mountain king. It's also a pretty darn good purgative and old mountain folks fancied it not only as a newly arrived green but to "clean them out" after a long winter of fare which featured too much in the way of carbohydrates and too little in the way of fresh stuff (cabbage and turnips were about it) for several months.
I'm a real fanatic about mountain food folklore and have, over the years, written quite a bit on the subject. I was blessed to grow up eating mountain vittles, and my wife and I have written a bunch of cookbooks focusing on foods from nature. She's also a heckuva cook, as one glance at my portly profile makes abundantly manifest. Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

silvercreek
09-08-2009, 07:10 PM
Celina Tennessee has, or used to have, a polk sallet festival in the spring. I used to pass a big sign advertising it on my way to Dale Hollow.

Rebelsoul
09-09-2009, 08:53 AM
My granny's poke sallet dish and what was handed down to her from many generations is to boil it like Jim Casada said and then heat up some bacon grease,just enough...not too much, in a iron skillet, put the poke sallet in there and scramble a couple of eggs in it,when the eggs are cooked it is ready.
Even a mediocre cook like me can make an acceptible poke sallet when your heart is in it,'cause it's the best wild greens out there in my opinion.
and I always think of the generations before me who enjoyed it enough to pass on the information.