I had an interesting dream this weekend. It started off by going for a hike to gather up some of my favorite plants for the first time – Pink Lady Slipper or Quail Shoes. They are a native orchid, but the Quail Shoes have become very rare in our mountains, that when you run upon them in the mountains, you are lucky to find one and if you find two, it is considered a lot.
I haven’t seen any Quail Shoes in years, but I recently ran upon about 50 of them on the side of a mountain. It took my breathe away. I couldn’t hardly believe what I was seeing. I was filled with just joy at the sight of the mountain side covered with these pink delicate beauties.
When I was growing up, my father use to take me hiking. He would point out plants and teach me about their personalities, as he called. He would teach me about the nature of the plants and their medical properties. I loved these hikes with my father, I not only got to spend time with him, but it instilled a life long love of plants and hiking.
When I found the pink Quail Shoes, one of grandchildren was with me. I hope that I can impart a small part of my enthusiasm and love of the plant nation 0n him.
I took two baskets with me, a couple of plastic bags, a digging trowel and some tobacco. It was a quiet and peaceful walk up the holler to the mountain where the pink Quail Shoes are growing.
On my way up to the holler I saw lots of plants – Rhododendron, white & purple violets, little mountain Iris’s, lots of Indian Cucumbers, lots of delicate wild Geraniums, Rattlesnake Plantain, Ferns (I saw my first cinnamon fern with its tall slender fronds of cinnamon color), and a dancing lady (a box turtle – if you look close at the designs on the box turtle’s shell, they resemble dancing ladies).
Springs has shown up this year with such vitality and abundance. Gives one great hope the future.
When I reached the pink Quail Shoes, I selected two. Even though there were lots of them, I’m still mindful of how rare these plants are and I want to be sure when I relocate them they survive. It is my wish to help preserve them for generations to come, so I won’t be using these Quail Shoes for medicine. It is my hope that they will flourish so they can be shared one day with my family and friends.
I carefully removed these two beauties from the side of mountain and placed them in one of the baskets. I also collected some soil and leaf material and placed it in my plastic bags and placed the bags in my second basket.
I whispered a prayer of thanks and left a gift of tobacco, like I was taught by father, so many years ago. We should always give back a gift to show our gratitude and to maintain balance in life. If we only take from life and don’t give back anything, this creates a state of imbalance and that can cause stress, sickness, abuse, bad karma, etc..
I whispered another prayer of gratitude and asked that these plants may thrive in their new home. Then I left a gift of tobacco.
When I got home I felt such a sense of well being. I do love spring, plants and hiking, but transplanting these rare beauties in hopes that they will flourish and hopefully be around for generations to come, just felt right. I felt in that moment like my world was in balance.
Was this really a dream or was I really experiencing this? Will the dream continue or just fade away..
Enjoy your day!
Note: In recent years I have had the good fortune of discovering an old author by the name of Herbert Durand. I have several of his books, but one that I recently pulled off my bookshelf is titled: My Wildflower Garden. I love this book. I love the way he writes in this book and his approach to educating people about creating wildflower gardens with preservation in the forefront. This book was originally published in 1929.
Anyone who loves wild plants and gardens, I think will find this book still informative and relevant today. His writing style is a true delight!