Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Went on an Explore

Camera in hand (actually, in pocket) I stepped out my front door.  Although I didn't really have any adventures, I did go on a little explore.  It doesn't take terribly long to walk my property (where I can walk) but I am never alone.  For this little explore I had Maya, our Tibetan spaniel, and nearly all of our cats.  I felt like the Pied Piper at one point.
Aralia nudicalis or wild sarsaparilla

Not far from the edge of my yard I was so excited to find a small patch of  Aralia nudicaulis or wild sarsaparilla.  I now had the other root beer flavoring.  Backing up a little bit: I watched a very long YouTube video this morning on edible plants.  The guide was so adept at explaining how to identify each plant that I actually found several on my explore today.  I dug out a small piece of the root to bring back with me (and it is still in my pocket).  Why do I keep hearing Bilbo and Gandalf's voices in my head?

Bracket or shelf fungus growing on a felled tree

Fungus in relation to Virginia creeper

Down the hill from my backyard I found these little fungi on a felled tree.  Next step will be to identify and determine if they are edible.

Mullein

This was my most exciting find today: mullein.  Mullein is a miracle herb.  I use it to make a tea for me and the children anytime we come down with any type of upper respiratory infection.  One cup of that stuff and the sinuses are flowing and on their way to healing.  So far I have purchased tea bags and bulk mullein.  I was thrilled to find this grows here in Connecticut.  Next to research if it is transplantable and where it would be most happy.  Mullein requires some type of tea bag for steeping because of the small hairs on the leaves.

Silene latifolia or White Campion

I didn't really find this today, but thought I would include it in this post.  This is growing with a bunch of other weeds in a small flowerbed against the goat house.  I identified it as Silene latifolia or White Campion after seeing it posted on a Facebook plant identification group.  I highly recommend joining a few of these types of groups.  The pictures and comments posted on identifying the plants is extremely educational.  I feel as though I am getting a crash course in plant identification. Apparently the roots of White Campion can be boiled to make a soap of sorts.  I just think it is pretty. 

By the way, my use of the term went on an explore comes from a sweet story called: Only Opal: The Diary of a Young Girl by Opal Whitely and Jane Boulton.  Another version is called Opal: The Journal of an Understanding Heart by Opal Whiteley.  I highly recommend both books.  So sweet and so sad. Opal is a little girl who is unloved and neglected.  She finds joy in her little explores, an escape from the pain of life.  I can relate so very much.

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