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Swamp Pixie is now a Mountain Mama!

Amber Shehan September 10, 2009

Hello, my friends, one and all… I hope you don’t mind my absence. I do tend to come and go like the crazy clouds pooling over the mountains outside. Yes, mountains! The Swamp Pixie has pulled her roots up and climbed a couple thousand feet in elevation over the past month. Whoo! What a change…

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Hello, my friends, one and all…

I hope you don’t mind my absence. I do tend to come and go like the crazy clouds pooling over the mountains outside. Yes, mountains! The Swamp Pixie has pulled her roots up and climbed a couple thousand feet in elevation over the past month. Whoo! What a change this has been…a welcome one, but one full of so many possibilities that my head is still spinning!

The first big thing I noticed was that I couldn’t find a single violet leaf in my new yard, nor a single clump of chickweed! That set me reeling…but then again, there is that spot on the corner of the house where the water is pooling and eroding the clay hillside in a rivulet. I bet with just a little terraforming, that place could be a mini-swamp for some of my moisture-loving sweet girls to set their toes in.

And while my familiar and favorite herbal allies are nowhere to be seen, there are so many new allies to be made! I am situated on a Carolina clay mountain hillside, right off the Pisgah National Forest. I have identified a whole bunch of the plants that are new to me, ones that I hope to learn to love…

Pokeweed: A familiar one from home, but not like this! The whole slope of the hill out of the window at my side is covered in big, fat, luscious purple-black berries! The bushes reach taller than I can (which really isn’t very hard to do) and hide all of the little finches my dear Akasha cat has been chirping at since we got here.

Thistle: Giant, amazingly intimidating, magnificent thistle! The purple flowers tower over the tall grasses and sway in the breeze…I can almost hear bagpipes and rolling drums when I see them dancing. Oh, and a note to you…do NOT chase giant thistledown and attempt to catch it gleefully, no matter HOW much it makes your yard look magical. It bites back, and in fact, large clumps of it will kill a cow that ingests it. Thistle is even illegal in many states for that very reason. Ouch.

English Plantain: I can’t believe I had to come to the mountains to learn about this “weed.” I’ve been shooting ‘grass rockets’ at my friends since I had the dexterity enough to twist the stem around itself. Nor does it have a small, red, banana-like fruit attached to it. Plantain, eh? No wonder I was so confused. It seems though, that plantain is a good healer for wounds and burns when used fresh. Let’s see what else it can do.

Red Clover: Oh, this makes me dance a happy dance! Just about the time we left Virginia, I ran out of the last bit of my red clover. Now I arrive here in Carolina and the happy, bee-laden purple flower heads are everywhere I turn! Every time I walk the yard, I grab one or two to take inside to dry. We’ll have to talk about her all on her own here soon.

I know there are more allies, so many more, for me to learn about and build relationships with here in the Pisgah. And I am becoming more and more astounded by the number of healers and wise folks around me. I will be learning a lot, and sharing my knowledge with others. Be ready to read, my friends!

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Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!

1 Comment

  1. Patsy on October 28, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Oh a refreshing tour of your backyard wild herbs up yonder Pisgah National Forest. I have alot to learn about these main stay herbs so i enjoyed your tour..

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