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!