Things I have learned while walking, and wildcrafting, in the woods:
- Just because I happily discover a patch of stinging nettles unexpectedly, I shouldn’t pat them like I would a friendly puppy.
- When coming across oodles of fresh new Oregon Grape Root leaves don’t be so amazed at their softness that I squat down to rub them on my cheeks (facial). People walking past don’t understand. . .
- When I am hunting for Greater Plantain all I’m going to find is the Lesser Plantain. Learn to not be so fussy.
- Cleavers is a happy plant. It likes to reach out and grab in a sticky Velcro way when saying hello—totally unlike the hops plant. When that baby reaches out to say hello—it’s often a nasty and painful greeting. . .
- Feeling sad to find out the wonderfully cheerful buttercup of childhood actually contains an acrid juice that will blister the skin.
- Trying not to do a happy dance upon finding out that the lowly-but-life-enriching dandelion not only spreads by parachuting puff heads but also by travelling tap-root. . . Three cheers for the dandelion—not that I’d ever say that out loud. . .
- The bracken fern, also known as the weedy fern, has rootstock that when boiled down taste kind of like rootbeer. . . I can only assume ‘kind of’ actually means ‘very poor pitiful like’. . . and that’s not something I’m about to try. Especially since memory can still taste Mom’s homemade rootbeer.
- To not get into such a daze of delight over being surrounded by graceful gatherings of fringecups flowers, horsetails fronds and broadleaf starflowers that Man-Wonder has time to sneak away. . .
Maybe next time I go out wildcrafting I’ll hang a dozen quilted bags off my arms, wrap my head in a bohemian head scarf, hang on some dangly earrings and drape a colorful shawl across my shoulders. . . yeah—really get in the moment!