A Spring Walk

I ask you now, do you see Jack in his Pulpit?

Sweet Violets, sweeter than all the roses…

Walk now…do not rue the day you miss Rue Anemone.

Will you yearn for Ferns?

A Late Season “Spring Beauty”

Would you like a Nightcap with your Wood Anemone?

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Photos ©2013, Jen Payne

Wildflower Week: Trout Lily

Trout Lilies
by Mary Oliver

It happened I couldn’t find in all my books
more than a picture and a few words concerning
the trout lily,

so I shut my eyes,
And let the darkness come in
and roll me back.
The old creek

began to sing in my ears
as it rolled along, like the hair of spring,
and the young girl I used to be
heard it also,

as she came swinging into the woods,
truant from everything as usual
except the clear globe of the day, and its
beautiful details.

Then she stopped,
where the first trout lilies of the year
had sprung from the ground
with their spotted bodies
and their six-antlered bright faces,
and their many red tongues.

If she spoke to them, I don’t remember what she said,
and if they kindly answered, it’s a gift that can’t be broken
by giving it away.
All I know is, there was a light that lingered, for hours,
under her eyelids – that made a difference
when she went back to a difficult house, at the end of the day.

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Photo ©2013, Jen Payne

Wildflower Week: Dutchman’s Breeches

Dutchman’s Breeches
by Marjorie Kahl Lawrence

The fairies washed their panties
And hung them up to dry.
Who else could wear
So small a pair?
I’m sure not you nor I.

They’re made of finest satin
And trimmed with yellow lace,
That the fairies hung
The leaves among
In this secluded place.

And if I hadn’t spied them
I never would have known
What fairies wore
(And never tore)
Beneath a gossamer gown.

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Photo ©2013, Jen Payne

Wildflower Week: Bloodroot

“Medicinally, bloodroot was used to treat coughs and stomach and urinary troubles,” Martha said. “The Iroquois also brewed a tea that they believed made the heart stronger and cleansed the blood of impurities. And they used it as a love charm.”

“A love charm,” I repeated thoughtfully. “I suppose that was because of its association with blood and the heart.”

“Perhaps,” Martha put her hat back on. “It has an important role in the sacred tradition. The Iroquois burned the leaves as a cleansing smoke to purify someone who had seen a dead person. And tribes in other parts of the country — the Ojibwa, the Ponca, the Potawatomi — used it to paint special identification marks on their faces, so that everyone would know at a glance what clan they belonged to….Bloodroot must have been powerful medicine.”

Bloodroot, A China Bayles Mystery by Susan Wittig Albert

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©2013, Jen Payne

Wildflower Week: Trout Lily

Deep in the forests of Georgia, at the Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve, millions of Trout Lilies bloom every spring. Sprawling across 15 acres of the preserve, this is the largest known colony of Trout Lilies that is suspected to have thrived in this location for hundreds of years.

But you need not wander that far to see this beauty. Noted by her sweet yellow blooms and speckled leaves, the Trout Lily, or Erythronium americanum, can be found from southern Ontario to Georgia, west to Kentucky, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and north to Minnesota.

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Photo ©2012, Jen Payne

Wildflower Week: Bloodroot

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria Canadensis, is also known by folkname as Indian Paint, Indian Plant, King Root, Sweet Slumber, and Tetterwort. It is a small perennial growing up to six inches tall, and thrives best sheltered along wet banks, in fields, and in shady woods with rich soils in North America. It is one of the earliest spring flowers, closing at night and on cloudy days.

Bloodroot can be seen wrapping its leaves gently around its stem in sweet and affectionate gesture — perhaps why it is considered a token of and talisman for love.

Bloodroot was used by Native Americans as a body paint because of a rich, red dye made from its rhizome. A bachelor of the Ponca tribe would rub a piece of the root on his palm, then shake hands with the woman he desired to marry. It is said the girl would be willing to marry him shortly thereafter.

Many use Bloodroot to avert evil spells and negativity, which love can do, too—don’t you think?

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Photos ©2012, Jen Payne

Source: The Magi’s Garden website and Alternatives from Nature by RainBear