Entering the Harvest: Early Autumn Notes from the Canyon
~Snakeweed In Bloom~
The mountains are turning gold with Escoba de la Vibora (Gutierrezia spp), Limoncillo (Pectis angustafolia), Anil de muerto (Verbesina spp), Wild Sunflowers, Coneflowers and Goldenrod. It’s a been a long dry summer but the flowers are still wild and prolific, with purple Asters, white and pink Wild Buckwheat, lavender Beebalm and ivory tinted Datura flowers sprawling across mesa and meadow.
Down by the river the Willowherb and Smartweed are turning a brilliant scarlet and Sunset Hyssop is blooming a deep crimson from the cliff walls. From the beginning of August to the end of September marks my favorite time of year, full of ripe berries, deep purple prickly pear fruits, crisp red and gold apples along with a great many herbs just coming into their prime. In less than a week we’ll be making our annual pilgrimage up into the mountains to gather blackberries, yarrow, motherwort, cleavers, chickweed, violets and many other medicinal plants that can be difficult to find in the middle mountain range the canyon lies in.
~Sticky Aster flower~
A friend just transported a large load of fruit from the city for us, so Loba and I will soon be busy transforming fruit into sauce, pies, syrup, tinctures, elixirs, mead and wine! I have a fancy for hawthorn/cherry/plum mead this year and can’t wait to give it a try. I also have in mind to press some pears and apples to make a spiced hard cider for the cold winter nights to come.
I’m also experimenting with a new Immune Elixir that includes Gooseberry, Raspberry, Rose and Saskatoon and I think has great potential, especially when combined with my standard Elder Mother Elixir. In fact, I’ve been working a great deal with our wild Gooseberry and can’t praise it enough for its mood elevating effects and wonderful boost to the immune system.
I apologize for my recent lack of posts, mostly due to an incredible influx of clients and guests in the last week that has temporarily blown me off schedule. I will be working back up to speed in the near future though and look forward to writing the many future posts I have planned.
~Sacred Datura green seedpod~
In the meantime, check out Wolf’s amazing piece on Awareness. This is an incredibly important subject for any healer and perhaps especially herbalists, we who are so intimately involved in reconnecting humans not only to their awareness of their own bodies but also to the plants, and in turn the earth. For in essence, we are often most truly teachers and facilitators of awareness for our students and clients.
Of special note to the student or practicing healer is the definition and explanation of ego, a much maligned word in recent “new age” thought that desperately needed to be shown in its original and true context, and Wolf does just that. We so often worship some ideal of “selflessness” in the enlightened and caring, and yet, the very term is both frightening and contradictory. Wolf gracefully and meaningfully addresses this from an angle especially valuable for those of us involved in caring for others on a daily basis. Even if you don’t normally read the Animá blog, head over there and check this great post out!
~Velvetweed flowers at dusk~
All photos (c)2009 Kiva Rose Hardin