Donnerstag, 1. September 2011

Spirals on a tree or the secret of the freeclimbing hardcore snails

 Now, back to earth...;-), I set out to do some foraging again... winter will come sooner than I´d like... got myself some hawthorn berries (crataegus laewigata, in German: Weißdorn, Mehlbeeren) to take home for starch, but as is, I am way too hoggish, and that was it... snacked them all up while walking, soooo I´ll have to do it all over again.
 But I got some cartload of blackberries (rubus sectio rubus, in German: Brombeere, British: brambles). This is a plant that has many properties. For instance, the leaves can be used as an antiseptic for inflammations of the mouth and pharynx. The dried leaves of lightly haired kinds can be used as a medicinal against mild diarrhoea. I even heard a preparation can be used externally against milder cases of neurodermitis or other chronical inflammations of the skin. In any case, the berries taste great to boot and can be used to make jam, jelly or cordial, wine and liquor. The plant might even hint to the Kenning of Muin, an Ogham letter, as a substitution for red wine grapes in ancient time. Its connotation after Mc Manus and Ranke - Graves is also "mountain of poesy". That did not help them a bit from being eaten by me, though;-).
....or by some wasps, coming to think of it....
On an elderberry twig I stripped I met this teenie-weenie-mini snail.... did not eat it, though, I am not THAT hoggish, mind you;-).
Went to the bank, too. Some idiot insists on leaving his crap in the woods, always at the same place, neatly stacked. So, since there´s a refund of 0,25€ on each of those cans, I took them GLADLY with me. 2,00€ quickly earned, and a cleaner wood in the bargain.
Then it was getting slightly strange. This snail stuck to a blackberry vine in some 2 m height. Quite a feat of freeclimbing, if you ask me!
Got some Chrome-Vanadium steel (or any such like stainless steel) stuck in the earth.
More elderberries (sambucus nigra, in German: Holunderbeeren). They have some interesting medicinal properties, too. Good as a tea (dried berries) against the flu, against mild kidney affections, and sweat inducing and bettering bloodflow. The berries are rich with Vitamin C and contain many flavonoids and the pigment antocyan, which is said to have an antiocarcinogenic effect. Green berries and other parts of the plant are rumoured to be toxic, containing the cyanogenic glycoside Sambunigrin. This might explain, why one old blacksmith told me a recipe for tempering knife and chisel blades in finely ground green elderberries, urine, soot and letting a piece of pork meat or rawhide rot in that concoction, and then tempering in it. It should get better with every turn... maybe I´ll try that some day...
 In any case, the berries were also used as a pigment in ancient times, for dyeing cloth and leather or even as a make-up or for colouring red wine. In Germany, myth had it told that Lady Holda / Holla, (Frau Holle) lived in a holly bush and one should tip one´s hat when passing. The plant had not to be hurt without offering to the tree or apologising in any way to it. I have also heard it should be good against witches, but I do not believe this crap any more*g. No plant whatsoever is good against witches.*g

This tree especially was full of snails, giving the impression of many spirals sprouting every which way. Im not much one for snails in any case, but this was a beautiful sight to behold. I dreamt that night and I saw a white tree with spiral branches and leaves... have to paint or draw that sometime soon.;-)
A nearby HAZEL bush (especially for my favourite harper, this one;-)) also bristled with snails, all at an impossible height. Weird.
Spot the snail....witches always grow between birches..., erm and hazel... and holly, that is.
Now you got me trapped, I forgot the name of this one. But the seeds (which are the wooly part) are great as tinder. If any one of you can enlighten me, you are very welcome, it will spare me hours of research in a fusty library;-).
This was kind of strange, too., normally, raspberries are done over here when blackberry season starts. But here they were, juicy, fruity, prosperous. Rubus Idaeus, in German: Himbeere. They are rich with vitamin C and many other vitamins. Find a very good instruction on raspberry leaf tea here.

It was an arduos day. I could go on endless, and I ´d certainly have posted more photos, but my camera gave up halfway through the hike. I did quite the hike, and then dropped by my mother´s place to prepare the berries and cook some more jam and drying some more fruit. I came home in the dark, fell into my bed, and had some weird, weird dreams. Not that this would be unusual in any case*g. (Hey, I only but recently learned to grin on the internet, and it´s fun!)

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