Herbal Search

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Rain, Wildflowers and Medicine

It's been raining again! A surprise storm hit us the night before last and dumped a significant amount of snow and rain on us. And what a pleasant surprise it was, We in NM have been bracing ourselves against another fairly dry Spring. This new moisture will provide with an extra beautiful show of wildflowers and herbs, and there's talk of yet more rain later this weekend. Many plants have grown visibly in the last 24 hours, sucking down the moisture and shooting skyward. An amazing mist rose off the river early this morning, cloaking the canyon walls in a faery fog while sun rose into the lapiz blue sky above.

A few days ago, my little daughter and I took a good long walk up the large arroyo to find Spring beautifully underway with Wild Grapes already leafing out and the intense scent of Wild Olives, Redroot and Wax Currants filling the air so thickly it made us almost dizzy. Up over sparkling rocks and stone wall waterfalls we climbed, high up into the lush crevice between mountain ridges. We harvested a bagful of Monarda, Dragonhead, Rose leaves, Mountain Valerian, Oregon Grape Root, Western Mugwort and Redroot flowers...

Once home, we proceeded to lay many plants out to dry and to chop up the others for tincture, vinegar and oil. When all was said and done, we had many new quarts of nourishment and medicine.

It's also prime Stinging Nettle season, our patches are vibrant and luxurious this year, providing with almost daily mineral rich meals, and soon we'll be harvesting huge batches to dry for infusions and soups, and some for vinegar and tincture. I'm especially looking forward to working with Nettle seeds this year!

A great benefit of these lovely Spring rains, is how wonderful this year's Medicine Woman's Wild Plant Workshop will be! Though the workshop is always great fun and filled with many plant allies, this year will be an extra treat. To take advantage of all the new growth and unusual species popping up, the workshop will filled with many extended plants walks into the varied environs that make up this diverse riparian canyon that includes montane, foothill, desert and riparian species. We have a few spaces left in the workshop, so be sure to let me know if you're interested!

I've been deepening my relationship with Rose quite a bit lately through some amazing experiences, and find myself in the midst of a very long essay on her beauty and power. I hope to have this finished in the next week, and share it here.


Kathleen said...

Would "wild olive" also be known as "Russian Olive"? I've been searching my mind for wild olive and can't get a bead on it...the closest thiing I know of would be the russian olive tree, and it DOES have an intense aroma when in bloom.

Oakmoss Changeling said...

Hi Kathleen, thanks for reading!

Actually I was referring to Foresteria neomexicana, usually called New Mexico Olive or New Mexico Privet... We eat the olives after brining or salt-drying them. Strong tasting but tasty.

Darcey Blue said...

isn't spring rain wonderful, i dont mind it at all, as long as it isn't freezing.
It 's making all the wild greens go crazy here too!

The Medicine Woman is glad you came...

All writings & posts (c)2007 Kiva Rose
All artwork & photographs (c) 2007 Jesse Wolf Hardin