Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Abundance of Healing Plants

This morning I led an herb walk up in the Catalina Mountains. 5 people showed up bright and early this morning at the Middle Bear picnic area on the Catalina Highway for a meander among the climbing grapevines, the vanilla scented ponderosa pines, and the stately walnut and juniper trees. We spent three hours wandering and enjoying the cool mountain air as we stopped to talk about each plant. We probably didn't walk further than the distance of a football field in the space of three hours, but saw all of the following plants.

Arizona Canyon Grape (Vitis arizonica)

Artemisia spp (Artemisia dracunculoides)

Butterfly Weed/Pluerisy Root (Asclepias tuberosa)

Cleavers (Galium aparine)

Emory Oak (Querqus emoryi)

Silverleaf Oak (Querqus hypoluecoides)

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Geranium (Geranium)

Juniper (Juniperus depeanna)

Mallow (Sphaeraclea spp)

Meadow Rue (Thalictrum fendleri)

Monarda (M. menthaefolia or M. pectinata)

Mountain Marigold (Tagetes lemmoni)

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Oregon Grape,Desert Barberry (Mahonia fremontii, other M. spp)

Penstemon (Penstemon spp)

Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)

Silk Tassel (Garrya wrightii)

Sumac/Lemonade berry (Rhus trilobata)

Sweet Clover (Melilotus spp)

Velvet Ash (Fraxinus velutina)

Verbena spp (Glandularia spp)

Walnut (Juglans microcarpa var. major)

Plus several other plants we didn't have to talk about, including lambs quarters, canadian fleabane, datura, buckwheat bush, willow, manzanita, dogbane, ambrosia and more.
I love talking about plants and sharing plants with others, and I don't get too many oppurtunities to just blabber on about plants for 3 hrs. I didn't realize how exhausting talking for 3 hours straight could be. I got home, a bit parched and very tired. I wasn't tired physically, I hadn't worked very hard to walk around this flat plain next to a mountain creek flowing with water. It wasn't a strenuous hike, but like in healing consultations that go on for two to three hours, there is an immense amount of extremely focused energy that flows. A person can only maintain such focused streams of outward energy for so long. By the end of the walk my brain was feeling a bit loopy and I think I was forgetting things. I got home, a little pink from the sun, and laid down to just rest my mind.

Then off again at three to take my sweetie to work, pick up my milk share, package up some chaparral oil , to the UPS store to send it, home again to finally eat some real food. And then best of all, a beautiful lightning storm, followed by winds, clouds and a torrential downpour! Short lived, but very wet, and just in time. The purslane in the back yard was looking a little wilted.

It was a busy day, but beautiful, full of plants, and rain and summer bounty!

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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 ~