I have a favorite local trail. It’s called Nahal K’talav, and I’ve been hiking it for years.
The Nahal K’talav trail always drew me in me for one specific reason: it was deep and dark and shady.
I loved hiking along Nahal K’talav and feeling completely surrounded by plant life. I loved the golden grasses and grains in the summertime, the fragrant flowers in springtime. In the winter, the trail felt misty and magical. Twisty tree branches and leaves surrounded the path on all sides. This trail was an old friend.
But a lot has changed over the years. Over time, I’ve become more familiar with nature and plant life in Israel. Now, when I hke along Nahal K’talav, I can’t walk five meters without encountering an interesting plant or wildflower. And I feel my friendship developing into love as my relationship with the trail deepens.
When I hike K’talav in the winter and spring, I collect asparagus and mustard blossoms. As spring progresses into summer, I watch as capers and fennel pop up from the sides of the trail. And when the terrain loses its lively look in the heat of July and August, I walk through Nahal K’talav picking wild blackberries, figs, and grapes, ripened by the summer sun.
There are lots of ways to accumulate knowledge about the local plant life. Books and articles are helpful, but my best resource is other people. Whenever I walk with anyone who knows a thing or two about botanicals, I pay attention as they uncover the secrets of wild edibles. I collect whatever they suggest, taste it, and bring some home.
Now, I enjoy much more than just the shade and beauty of the shrubs that surround me while I hike. As I walk, I let my eyes, fingers, and tastebuds take part in the experience with edible plants and flowers on the trail.
Nature has the ability to sustain us in so many incredible ways. Take your hiking adventures to the next level by learning about your local plant life. Then, you’ll enjoy the outdoors even more as you eat your way through nature.