For someone incredibly lazy and out of shape, I sure did a lot of physical activity this weekend. Friday ended early, and I got to go out to Proud Lake with Wes, who had already been all over Ortonville Rec and was hot, sweaty, smelly, and scratched to hell. It's funny how it ends up with us, he's looking for mushrooms, I'm looking for plants, so one of us is always waiting (slightly impatiently) for the other one. We went in the back way, parked by some rocks, and not ten feet from where we parked was a giant clump of exactly what I'd been looking for - monotropa uniflora. A strong sedative, nervine, antispasmodic, as well as for "sore eyes". (Funny how so many of the tinctures on hand are sedative and nervine...) I've also heard (read) it is a strong pain reliever, and have seen anecdotal accounts of it used for shingles, severe muscular pain, and other extremely painful conditions.
I had Wes take a picture of me lovingly cradling this beautiful and amazing plant as I carefully dug it out of the ground (it bruises badly very easily, much like mushrooms), but the only thing he got a shot of was my cleavage. *grumble* actually, several shots.
Speaking of bruising like mushrooms, indian pipe is epiparasitic to the family russulacae, so...lactarius and russulas, from what i understand. that's so wicked.
We walked around after I quickly tinctured it, found some chantrelle pins, a couple of chantrelles, and what we believe to be a blewit. Also, an old hericium?? How could that have survived the winter?! It's not the right season for hericiums. There was also pink wolf's milk slime, which was fun to play with, and some stinkhorn corpses. I harvested about 2 ounces of fresh hepatica triloba, which is mildly astringent and mucilaginous. Wait a minute... *looks around* where'd my big ol bag of liverwort go? I'll hurt someone if they threw it out.
After that, it was out to cass benton for some ill fated disc golfing, because my buddy (whose AMAZING psychology for dummies blog can be found here) lost his disc, and then we had to pick up my roommate and take him to work. we drove by a fire department training session on the way home, only I didn't know that's what it was, all I saw was this huge conflagration, thought it was someones home, and nearly burst into tears. Haha.
Saturday it was off to class, and jesus lord. When my teacher says up hill and down dale, he's not kidding. It felt like 100 degrees out, brightly sunny, and he's trucking along up and down big ol hills. I felt my out-of-shape-ness then, very much, and was quite embarrassed.
Something interesting happened though. A classmate was talking about something one of her family members is afflicted with called dufresne's disease. And I had a little mental spasm, mimicked a contracture with my hand, and then totally interrupted my teacher (like the ass that I am). Wait, that produces contractures, doesn't it? Du-fray-ns. Yeah. So my teacher goes, OHHH, trigger finger! And then starts explaining to her what happens in the disease and the best course of action. I just thought that was really flippin weird, on my part. I've never had Dufresne's, nor known anyone who did. I have a vague recollection of learning about it in massage school (good god I loved pathology, was my favorite class and still is), and it was neat how my body accessed that memory, like my hand involuntarily was like, hey, contracture. Makes sense though - kinesthetic learner accesses memories kinesthetically. go figure.
Sunday was strawberry picking day with my sister, so we rounded Andrew up, threw him in the car, and headed to Ann Arbor for pickins. It was hot, it was tiring, we were hardly finding any strawberries. End of the season, everything's picked over. And this was just the first twenty minutes. My sister and I moved to greener pastures, ie snap peas, which were easy, and we could sit in the dirt and gossip while harvesting. Wes utilized his best wildman talents, moving down rows with the speed and ease of someone who often forages and finds delicious mushrooms and interesting things. I was shocked when he wound up pulling about 8 pounds of strawberries out of said plants. Took me a couple of hours to wash and hull them last night, with help.
in the vein of reading politically charged books on food, i started on animal, vegetable, miracle by barbara kingsolver. it's pretty good, i'm perhaps a third in and i started yesterday. i went up to the vitamin shoppe on lunch to grab some elecampane tincture, of which they were out, but one of my favorite parts about going there are these delcious fruit and nut abominations of granola bars. they're gluten free and delicious, my favorite being almond and coconut. as i was driving home, i happened to glance at the label...it was from australia. i munched guiltily the rest of the way home. here i am reading about a woman who makes her family eat only things which can be had from their county for a year, and i'm eating something flown in from australia. *cringe*