Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Green in the Winter
Deus Ex Machina and I were walking through the woods the other day. I've been on a quest for the elusive, but amazing Chaga mushroom, which, when it forms on the birch trees, contains some curative properties (I'm all about "natural medicine").
Peeking out of the leaf cover was this sweet, tiny green plant, and I asked Deus Ex Machina what it was. He didn't know.
Through all of the observations and lessons that we've learned on plant identification, I know that plants that hold their color through winter are often used by wild life (and in days of yore, humans) as a winter food source.
I said, "I'll bet it some sort of winter green."
To which Deus Ex Machina replied, "Wintergreen? You think?", and he bent over and plucked one of the little leaves.
And I clarified, "Not wintergreen, but a plant that is edible and eaten as a green during the winter."
He broke the leaf in half and sniffed it, and then, held it under my nose, asking, "What do you think now?"
Sure, enough, it is wintergreen. We harvested a bunch, brought it home, and enjoyed some wintergreen tea. Yum!
It was such an incredible experience ... at a moment when I really needed a good thing to happen!
I love positively indentifying a plant ... accidentally :).
The next day Deus Ex Machina went for a short walk back through the woods near our house. He says he found a HUGE patch of wintergreen back there. So.very.cool!