Monday, March 26, 2007

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.

a circle is round, and never ends, that's how long i want to be your friend.

That's how i felt (along with quite a bit of exclaiming and jumping up and down like a little girl) when I went for spring hike yesterday in the hills near the house. Drove into a canyon about two miles, and found myself in the ponderosa pine forest, walking along a rushing creek full of rainwater and snowmelt! Yippeee!
The sun was shining, the pines were singing, the birds chirping, my love alongside...and lo and behold, new and old plant friends all over.
Granted MOST were still in the very baby stage, just little rosettes and shoots poking their heads above the newly warm ground. But first off, dandelions, which I munched on a bit...not bitter at all. just spring green!
I found Motherwort (leonorus cardiaca) and I had no idea she got so big. last years stalks are at least 4-5 ft tall!!
There was lots of new mullein rosettes, and last years stalks of evening primrose. Primrose is a nice medicinal, but mostly I've used it as a wild food (roots a bit like parsnips, with a kick!) and as fiber material for string/rope making.
There were little baby cinquefoil palmate leaves, and tons of oregon grape (mahonia) in flower. THey have bright yellow bunches of flowers and I wonder if that could be a good flower medicine. Might do me a flower essence of that one too!
One of my best delights of the day was the obvious and prolific presence of one of my favorite allies, Monarda! Known as wild oregano, oregano de la sierra, horsemint or sweetleaf, I only saw one patch of fragrant little seedlings, but I also saw last years flower heads and stalks in large clumps all over the place! Monarda did grow in arizona, but it wasn't that prolific! I'm so excited!
Horsetails, all the grey and dead stalks from last season, and the beginnings of spearmint seedlings too!!
Yarrow babies!
So many wild roses I couldn't count, and a couple of different juniper species, with nice pungent medicinal berries!
I also found a nice choke cherry tree too!
I'm sure there will be more as the season grows (plus the wildflower check list I got at the trailhead lists 50plants, at least half of which are medicinal allies!! Including listings like Osha, scullcap, self heal, pasque flower, coral root, licorice, raspberry, gumweed, goldenrod, violets, strawberry, clematis and more! Wahoooooooooo! Plants everywhere! I'm so looking foward to getting to know all these new plants, and spending more time with my old friends too!

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"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~