Life is funny sometimes \u2013 life is often too busy to take the time to realize what’s right under your nose. It can be your relationships, your neighborhood or the land you live on.
This weekend I took some of my ‘economic stimulus’ and hired medicinal herbalist Lisa Bedner to come and walk our woods with us to see what, if anything, we had in our own backyard. It was a joy to take the time and discover the plants and life hidden away on our hillsides. Little pockets of Ironweed, Wild Forget Me Nots, Trilliums, Jack in the Pulpits, Christmas Ferns, May Apples, and Lyre Leaf Safe scattered throughout little microclimates in the woods.
One little hidden spot looked like a fairy spot \u2013 an old tree stump circled in nearly a half dozen types of mushrooms and even more wildflowers.
Lisa said we are experiencing one of the most beautiful springs she’s seen in at least 10 years on the Cumberland Plateau and wildflowers are blooming this spring which have been absent for years. We found in the woods a native trumpet vine which rarely makes itself known \u2013 but there it was covering a tree and blooming in the woods. She believes it is a sign we are over the drought. In one spot we had ‘water’ plants half way up a hillside and not even close to the creek.
At least a hundred years ago, our land began to be farmed and the timber harvested, so the original forest floor and trees are gone and have been replaced with second and third generation growth. It was a joy to see how the land has rejuvenated itself and is returning to it’s native growth. It was also incredible to learn about all the different plants which can be used for healing and food.
Imagine \u2013 finding such wonderful discoveries in our own backyard \u2013 it was just taking the time to look and spend the time with someone who truly knows and loves the native plants.