Friday, April 12, 2013

What I Saw On My Walk #4---Collecting Nettles

                                                            I smelled the river
                                                        It reminded me of how
                                                            It felt to be free

I composed the above haiku on a recent river walk. To me, the smell of the river reminds me of more carefree times. Today I felt like re-capturing some of that carefree feeling and rambling in the woods near the river so I could look at the birds and collect nettles. Stinging nettles are, of course, a beloved wild plant with a long history of use in folk remedies. I've been collecting them for some years now, being first inspired by my sister-in-law, who was in a botany program at the university. We experimented with nettle soups and pestos and steamed nettles in wraps. The internet has plenty of nettle recipes and recommendations on how to collect and cook them if you are interested in such things. A good general introductory book, with a nettle section, is Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginners Guide

Here is the nettle herself in all her glory---see the stinging spines on her stalk?

I've seen a ton of ladybugs this spring. A good sign indeed!

A sweet little robin next to a patch of nettles.

So many lovely flowers out today!

Ferns, glorious ferns :)

A mysterious cavern in a tree. The home of gnomes perhaps? At the very least, a squirrel hangout :)

There was an amazing amount of nettles and I took home quite a good haul. Some went into a soup, some in a pesto, and some will go in tea. It felt good to shake off winter and connect to the green, growing things. Happy spring to the northern hemisphere!


  1. I've never been nettle harvesting. I'm at the drier end of a high valley desert area, so I've not even seen nettles except north of here, high in the hills.

    What wonderful pictures - the deadfall with all the ferns growing from it - magical!

  2. Yes, I feel pretty lucky to have found a good source for them close to me, although I am in a rainy valley with a couple of major rivers so they grow in abundance around here.

  3. A home for gnomes or maybe for hobbits!
    So many lovely greenery, nature is putting on a good show for you to also show up your photography skills!