Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Flowers

Spring is really starting to pop around here! I love my dog walks each day lately. Sometimes the fog hugs and sometimes the sky is clear blue and sunny, but always the spring greens and early flowers are full and lively!

My daughter took some wildflower books out of the library this week. I think she intends to make drawings for her art class. I opened one and immediately learned names and interes
ting facts and lore about some of my favorite spring wildflowers.

Here are some striking Hound's Tongue (Cynoglossum grande) growing along the trail on a shady wooded hillside. It gets its name from the shape of its l
eaves. In medieval times it was believed that if you laid these leaves beneath your feet, dogs would not bark at you as it was known to "tie the tongues of dogs". Later it was used, mixed with animal fat as a remedy for dog bites. Native Americans used the roots medicinally to treat colic and ulcers and topically to relieve pain from burns.
I am getting my annual craving for some nettles tea. The young Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) in the yard are just right for picking. I find it to be an excellent spring tonic, full of iron and vitality.

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