Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Last seen in August 2009. If you have any information as to Summer's whereabouts, please contact us immediately!!

After about a week of "normal" summer weather, it has turned unseasonably cool here the past two nights. Yesterday was 38 degrees when I awoke, and this morning it was 36 degrees! Where has summer gone?! My garden plants do not know what to make of this crazy up-down weather pattern, and my tomatoes and melons are most definitely NOT happy. I am terrified that, after all of my hard work, the harvest this year is going to be awful. Sigh. Fingers are crossed for good luck.

My sneaking suspicion was confirmed last night after a quick jaunt into the wood lot: I have a patch of mullein growing wild on my property. This past winter, while gathering firewood, I noticed a patch of plants that I thought looked an awful lot like mullein, but did not feel 100% confident in my identification skills at that point in time. However, one of these fuzzy-leaved beauties was in full bloom yesterday, and it's rather difficult to mistake a flowering mullein plant for much else. I was elated (and also slightly annoyed with myself for PURCHASING mullein seeds this past spring to grow in my herb garden)! Now I have access to a lovely source of mullein this year! Mullein is a biennial, so the my plant babies (grown from seed this year) will not flower and produce seed until next year. Ergo, with the discovery of the wild flowering mullein patch, I will have access to a ready seed source this year (not to mention a plethora of leaves for medicinal uses!). Yippee! Plus, there is something so majestic about a (5 foot tall!) mullein in full bloom. I have to admit that I stood in front of the plant for a good minute or two, just drinking in its beauty. After the hectic quality of the day, there was something so peaceful about this collection of plants in the late afternoon dappled forest light. I probably the first time in a while.

It makes me happy to know that my knowledge of wild plants has been expanding this year. I am trying to learn to identify "useful" weeds (such as yellow dock). I love that I can now look over my pastures and, instead of seeing a jumble of unnamed/unknown weeds, actually identify certain plants out of the bunch! Mentors are found in the oddest assortments, and my knowledge has been learned from both books and hands-on teaching. Thank you to all who have imparted their knowledge to me, even if it was a fleeting sentence of wisdom.

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