Well Insectamonarca friends,
I am out here in the forest again. Pat and Sandy flew out to San Francisco on Friday and I am staying with Sadie again at the cabin in the woods. If I wasn’t so busy with writing a DNR Grant Proposal for Citizen-Based Monitoring Project for monarch butterflies, pollinators, insects and native plants and uses for the two Monarch Butterfly Habitats, I would have perhaps had time for a few other projects re: listen to the wind and write more.
Well the woods I love look completely different in March. Snow is off the ground. I was so hoping to find a water source but didn’t when I walked the property yesterday and today. But there is magic here. Yesterday I discovered a path on the back of the property that would accommodate cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ATVs and snowmobiles. It isn’t that big, of trail distance wise, but perfect for quiet sports re: wild plant gathering, animal and bird watching, snowshoeing, walking and cross-country skiing.
Some of you may know from the February posting Eco Adventure in Wisconsin, that I was anxious to find wild plants and herbs. Boy oh boy!
Today I found several colonies of Club Moss, a medicinal plant used for muscle pain and it is a diuretic. Of course I had to bring some back to the cabin to place in an alter setting and I made a very tasty tea using the herb. I love natural medicines. If I can prove a plant is of value because of use, I can then recommend it. This is my own trial. I was so happy to find it that I put down tobacco and thanked the plant for letting me take its life so that I might try it as a medicinal remedy.
The forest also showed me some pussy willows, mushrooms, Indian pipe and a few other spring flowers (not yet blooming). I can’t locate an herbal book with photos at the cabin till I get back to Shell Lake sometime next week and look at my herb books.
The songs of the old oak leaves and the wind blowing through the oak forest yesterday brought me back to memories of long ago at my father’s farm in Rock City Falls, New York. I haven’t had this beloved memory for so many years. How I missed it. Nothing has filled the void until I found these special woods that I love. I feel a familiar sense of healing here. I don’t want to be separated from these glacial moraines that have found me once again. Can you imagine being separated from your special earth memories for 25 years?
The sun was warm today and I found perfect place on a hill facing south and just lay down and sun bathed in the 50 degree weather. First I put on sunscreen from the white powder of the birch tree. I heard a calling going on but I don’t know what species it was. I did scare up a wild turkey yesterday from far in the bramble and small quaking aspen trees. Could it have been a male and female turkey calling to each other?
I did find last year’s bracken fern so I am hoping we can gather fiddlehead ferns here this year. What other treasures lay beneath the oak leafed carpeted forest floor?
It was a glorious day.
Be happy insectamonara friends where ever you are.