It was a toss-up between Appley Love Field and Bellefield.
Did I really feel like hauling roots?
No, not really, yet the memory of a beautiful crabapple tree sharing her sweet energy with me lingered in my heart.
I pictured myself there, picking crabapples and feeling so protected under the shade of her loving branches...
Wait a second!
What time was it?
What in tarnation had I been doing all this time?!
Nope, if I was to go to Appley Love Field, it would be too tight. By 6 PM daylight was receding, and it would take me half an hour to get there by bike.
I ventured to go to Bellefield instead.
Suddenly, a wave of anxiety passed over me.
But what would people say!
Forager's dilemma, I know.
It's those just-what-are-you-doing-there looks. Eyes that want to voice what lips are internally saying on the screen of the mind: "Um, yeah. Sooooo, you're a crazy person. Uh, I gotta go..."
And even when you aren't foraging, when next they see you, they'll still hold onto that visual impression of you squatting down to pick up a silly leaf called Red Clover, imprinted, no, burned like a tattoo on the myelin sheaths of their nervous system. Disturbed, they feel so haunted by such a fleeting memory, but the cloud must be surpassed before they can look into the blue sky of your being.
I parked my bike in the usual spot and noticed 2 people walking up the path glancing my way. I cringed internally, but brushed that nitwit ego aside.
I came up to the Nettle patch beside the creek and got out the pruners and paper bag right away. Mind was awfully chatty, but settled down somewhat to be able that ears could hear the gushing of the water over the rocks.
Ah, serenity NOW.
Perhaps there was something to this anxiety after all, as I encountered a person walking their dog and some children came playing.
I continued my task and collected a large paper bag stuffed full of Nettle. So happy to have her kidney essence in my life :)
Before walking up the bridge, I stopped to look at several Jewelweed plants dotting the edge of the creek. I pushed on a brightly-oranged flower to see if it had any seed pod, but not yet!
The field met my eyes on the right and I immediately got to collecting Red Clover, which was the purpose of coming to Bellefield (that, and to collect Nettle, of course!).
Wow, so many Red Clover flowers in mid-October! Most were a pale shade of pink, but there were many that still had that resplendent, deep purplish hue. There were many buds as well, and I was able to collect half a large paper bag in as little as half an hour.
I was in the field for longer than that, of course, as other plants caught my attention as well :) Like this yellow flower that I at first thought was dandelion, but is really a Sow Thistle (see pic below). And this other lone blue flower, so pretty amongst all the green. Yes, a chicory flower (pic below).
And what's this?
"EEK!" I screeched after touching a flower that had housed a grass hopper. He jumped and hopped onto a blade of grass, staying still and looking at me inquisitively it seemed. He was ready to jump in case he needed to again---his right back leg was twitching---but when he saw I posed no threat, he relaxed and let me take a few snapshots of him, my teacher. My teacher that said, "Be mindful, already!"
So I did.
I looked about and there were a few lovely Plantain seeds. Fall is the time to collect roots, but it's also a time to collect seeds! Lovely brown seeds that would soon turn to black. I clipped several stalks, and later found some that had black seeds as well.
Plantain seeds should be black in color. You can use them as you would chia or flax seed, whole or crushed over cereal. Well, you can really use them anywhere where chia or flax is called for, such as to replace an egg. That's a common thing to do in vegetarian/vegan cuisine: 1 Tbsp ground chia or flax or plantain seed + 3 Tbsp water for 1 egg.
I also collected a few Plantain leaves and Yarrow flowers. The time was telling me to go, to be off, but I decided to linger just a bit longer. I walked down the field to where it comes close to the street, where I had collected several Mugwort and Motherwort plants at one point.
Ah yes, there was Muggie. The ones I cut where all browned, but there were several baby plants right in front of those. Nope, no worries for Muggie at all!
I found the same situation with Motherwort. She was most proficient in making babies, because there was a whole line-up of Motherwort plants! But then, Motherwort is in the mint family, and it's one that likes to spread things around. A lot.
I gathered several leaves of Mugwort to dry for later use in my---yes, yes, say it---soup cauldron! Just love adding her bitter leaves to my soup and then pureeing everything. Bitter goodness without the taste ;)
No tincture or oil recipes today. And in so saying, that is one thing that I reminded myself when I was in the field: that the first part is harvesting, the next is preparing or wildcrafting, so allot time when you get back home!
Indeed, I collected so much Red Clover and Nettle that I didn't have enough room for them to all fit on the 9 trays of my dehydrator. My table came in mighty handy, I can tell ya ;)
Well, more foraging adventures tomorrow, I'm expectin', so stay tuned for the next showdown ta-mo-rah!
Supposed to be cloudy, but I'm sure you'll bring your brightness along, sunshine :)
PS. Think I saw a fluffy dandelion flower while out for a jog tonight. Can it really be?! Well, she is quite the "interloper," so it can definitely be, all right ;)
Curiosity Got The Cat: