Monday, June 19, 2017

Midsummer Blessings

May your days be sunny, your nights be festive and may you enjoy all the beauty of the season!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Counting Crows

"One for sorrow,
Two for mirth,
Three for a wedding,
Four for a birth,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told,
Eight for heaven,
Nine for hell,
And ten for the devil's own to sel'. "

So I wonder what 18 will get me?

This is one of many versions of a corvid counting rhyme that plenty of us grew up with. The photo above was taken during a tour of the very depressing Kingston Penitentiary; this murder of crows shot up all of a sudden while the guide was talking about the killing of a guard that happened in 1948 {his parents had immigrated from Ireland}. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

An Anatomy Garden

I will admit to being one of those nerds that daydreams about having theme gardens, and one of those themes is an anatomy garden. Essentially a garden with plants that either resemble parts of a body or have it in their names {common or Latin}, and sometimes they are both.

There are so many potential candidates, so beyond my favourites listed below, I encourage people to search for other options should you be interested in having your own anatomy themed garden!

Borage {Latin borro for "rough hair"}
Comfrey {aka "knitbone"}
Herb-Robert {aka "storksbill"}
Mandrake {Mandragora officinarum roots often resemble a human form}
Orchids {from Greek for "testicle"}
Snapdragon {seed pod looks like wee skulls}

Previous related posts:



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Dom-fharcai Fidbaide Fál/The Scribe in the Woods

"Dom-fharcai fidbaide fál
 fom-chain loíd luin, lúad nád cél;
 h-úas mo lebrán, ind línech,
 fom-chain trírech inna n-én.
Fomm-chain coí menn, medair mass,
 hi m-brot glass de dingnaib doss.
 Debrath! nom-Choimmdiu-coíma:
 caín-scríbaimm fo roída ross."
"A hedge of trees overlooks me;
A blackbird’s lay sings to me {an announcement which I shall not conceal};
Above my lined book the birds’ chanting sings to me.
A clear-voiced cuckoo sings to me {goodly utterance}
In a grey cloak from bush fortresses.
The Lord is indeed good to me:
Well do I write beneath a forest of woodland."

~ Dom-fharcai fidbaide fál/The Scribe in the Woods {Author unknown, found in an early 9th century manuscript margin. Translation from Gerard Murphy's Early Irish Lyrics}

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Flowering Rowans, Naughty Crows & Other Friends

A couple of days ago a friend and I went for a little walk around our neighbourhood to get an idea of what grows wild around here. I find that this is the perfect time of year to identify plants and trees once the leaves are nicely developed and flowering is underway. We were not disappointed by all the options of potential free groceries, remedies and folk magic supplies.

Upon moving south one of the things that I lamented was not having very many rowan trees around me anymore. However, I guess my fear was misplaced because there are a whole bunch in my immediate area. 

Right now the rowans are in full bloom, and while their flowers are stinky, I think that they look glorious. All I can think of is how many berries will be laden on those trees come late summer/early fall. 

A laneway just around the corner from our building proved to be especially fruitful with with rowan, apple, elder, staghorn sumac, crabapple, hawthorn, honeysuckle/woodbine, raspberry, and cherry. There were pretties growing lower too, although I don't think I would trust to harvest anything from ground level in that spot.

Thankfully throughout our immediate area there are spots safer to harvest from and so far we have found dandelions, lemon balm, peppermint, motherwort, daylilies, comfrey, shepherd's purse, curled dock, rhubarb, chickweed, yarrow, cleevers, stinging nettle, pineapple weed, columbine, garlic mustard, milkweed, catnip, solomon's seal, creeping charlie, chamomile and lily-of-the-valley growing aplenty. 

On our way back to our building we were greeted by a pair of crows that were up to no good. They stopped their antics long enough to peek at us before resuming their domestic dispute over a found robin's egg.

We have a wildcrafting day planned for early next week, so in the meantime we are dreaming of what lovely thing we can concoct with the things we find. I saw a yummy-looking roasted golden beet pizza recipe that calls for garlic mustard pesto... {!!!}.