Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stinging Nettle

This afternoon I had an unusual opportunity to visit nature instead of going to work. Our department convened this morning for a thing called Program Development Day, meaning that we did not have our normal class schedule in the evening.

When I left the meeting, I felt tired and sick to my stomach. As many of you know, I'm preparing for gallbladder surgery on Monday, but the sun was shining and the plants were singing. I've been under so much stress lately that I just couldn't pass up my chance for a little nature therapy. I called my friend Adam and asked him to meet me for a plant-finding hike.

Adam suggested we visit a little spot along Hangman Creek where stinging nettle grows in abundance.

I've wanted to learn more about nettle ever since this plant cured my cold symptoms a few years ago. Nettle has some great medicinal properties and appears occasionally in the oral tradition of our Salish ancestors. I feel a kinship with the nettle plant and a calling to deepen my awareness of its character. By the way, this is a great way to observe Earth Day.

Adam was my hiking companion and plant guide.

Golden currants in full bloom.

A service berry tree blooms along the banks of Hangman Creek.

We followed the train tracks to get to Adam's nettle patch.

Hangman Creek.

1 comment:

MaryLupin said...

When I was a child my aunties used to make tea and the occasional poultice from nettles. The cottage had a huge patch between the kitchen wall and the little hill up to which the low wood structure shimmied. Plants with teeth is how I thought of them when I was 6 or so. When I put it together that the tea was made from the green biters I thought it would hurt my mouth but no. Who knew that a little preparation could change the apparent nature of things so profoundly.


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