Sunday, April 10, 2011


I skipped going to the market to sell my early crop plants and opted for a day in the mountains. Sophia had her pink backpack full and zippered up on Friday as soon as she heard that there was a change in plans.
She is so easy breezy.

Lucky for me I have a spouse, who is also a botanist and knows some very cool places to go and play. Some of these places are not exactly public land. I will leave it at that. Our quest was to gather herbs. We packed some water and snacks and jumped in the truck, It was especially exciting for me because we have had a major rain event here in this area for the past two days and there was water flowing everywhere. On an earlier post I talked about my little problem, (my obsession with weather) so seeing the river flood plains filled and streams bursting with water awoke the monster inside. There was several road blow outs (where the water washed over the road). At one spot, the mountain was washed right across the road. By the time we got there the road was cleared and the earth was piled up on both sides. It was a major event. The ride there was thrilling enough. We drove through switch backs and up and over mountains until we we hit a valley and when we couldn't go any further we parked the truck and got out and headed up.

on our way... up
Sophia and her pink back pack


we start to see wildflowers

old mine head
Rusty and Sophia

Rusty and Sophia find ramps
I like trees

I had my el-cheapo camera again! But I am still happy to bring back this memory and moment of Spring in Appalachia. It makes me think about th

May Apple (podophyllum peltatum)
First starts of Blue Cohosh (Caulophylum thalictroides)
Liverwort (vascular)  (Hepatical triloba)
Liverwort (vascular)  (Hepatical triloba)
Wild Geraniums (Geranium maculatum)
Wild oregano
Spotted waterlead (Hydrophylum macrophyllum) (and some wild geranium)
Baby angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
Rusty shows me a yellow violet (Viola hastata)
wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata)
blue skies and a poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
break time and my boots

crow rock
fiddle heads (Polystichum acrostichoides) We ate them.
fiddle heads (Polystichum acrostichoides)
coal leftovers
ramps (Allium trcoccum)
harvested for dinner -ramps (Allium trcoccum)
 Coyote Tracks (Canis latrans)

 Coyote Tracks (Canis latrans)
Grapevine (Vitis sp.)
Sophia cooling her feet after the hike

 Rusty is a great teacher. He has a genuine love for nature and has a broad knowledge base.With this, and his enthusiasm, he makes learning fun. It is always an adventure. Sophia and I listened carefully to the names of the plants and the descriptions. Sophia really enjoyed learning, and was able to point out plants as she learned them.

The sun was in the east when we started and climbed over our heads then started it's journey westward by the time we left. Sophia asked if she could have her birthday there this year. Cute. Happy. Child.

But the day did not end there! When we made it home, I talked to my neighbor Shirl. He gave me a ton of eggs. I added those to my eggs, and added them to the duck eggs that were already cooking in the incubator. My incubator is now full. In 21 days I will have assorted fowl!

I repotted some of my 72 basil plants. I potted the wild oregano that we dug up in the woods and fed all of the animals (late).

Then, Rusty and I coaxed, chased and rodeo-ed Sling Blade the pig back up to the top garden area. He is getting huge and strong! Sling should have that tilled up again for us in a day or so. It is about time for planting the cold crops! whoo-hoo!

Rusty mowed the grass hung a load of laundry out and made dinner. Thank goodness. I was pooped. He is all over these mountains on a regular basis and has much more stamina than I do. Plus he is 10 years younger than me. All I had left in me was to lift a cold beer to my mouth. *sigh* I never drink beer. But tonight it tasted good. Really good.

ah... what a great life here in Wild &Wonderful WV!

Whispers from the Woods: The Lore & Magic of Trees

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