As part of my year of serendipitous discovery in America’s premier urban park, I make an effort to leave no part of the park uncovered. I have, I think, walked every single part of the park in my previous inspection tours, and this year should not be different.
So today I ventured to wander once more in the Kennedy Forest on the park’s southwest corner, by Skinker Boulevard. It is a true eastern forest, and it begins where the sidewalk ends. Under the forest canopy, just now beginning to leaf out, the low plants are greening, May Apples are taking over and the elms and maples are casting their seed where they will. Don’t eat those May Apples, though, as I am reliably informed they are toxic. One source informs me that “symptoms of mayapple poisoning are salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, excitement, fever, headache, coma, and death.” So, death is a symptom, eh?
“He’s dead, doctor.”
“Hm. Must be May Apple poisoning.”
On a more cheerful note, I met two construction workers who, finished with their work day, had decided to hunt mushrooms there in the woods. They weren’t finding any when we spoke, but one had discovered an ax head by the base of a nearby tree. It was shortly later that I saw the snake, but he saw me first and hid rather effectively.