When I was out in Colorado visiting family I mistook the intensity of the sun and the heat and collapsed on the Eagle Rock Shelter Trail in the high desert in between Hotchkiss and Delta Colorado. I was fascinated by the contrast between the lushness near the Gunnison River and the desert in the Delta region and was having fun taking pictures. I had only been clear from Covid for a week, not at all ready for a hiking trip! Note to self, you are not 20 years old anymore – no more assuming you can handle it!
At any rate, a rescue off the trail, an ambulance to Delta Hospital, and recovering now for a week at home, and I’m still wiped out and exhausted. I’m told it could last for weeks – and that I had pushed my Covid recovery back by getting the heat stroke. (Not surprising by the way I feel).
This is a reminder to HYDRATE in the heat! Drink electrolytes if you plan on being out in the sun, use sunscreen, and wear a hat! Don’t do what I did and overestimate your response to the heat.
Be Careful out there!
My sister and I traveled to Colorado recently to surprise our mother on her 80th birthday and to see my nephew and his his wife at their mountain home above Paonia. Now, when I talk about paradise, I’m not exaggerating – it is lush and beautiful and splendid! It was overwhelming the variety of plants growing.
I identified common white clover and plantain for them, as well as some not so common plants. But it would take me a lifetime to identify everything up there – not that I’d mind but I think they would get tired of Aunty Kathy as a permanent houseguest. 🙂
This brings me to my point, I suggested that if they were serious about wanting to know more of the edibles on their land, that they hire an herbalist who is familiar with the area to come take them on nature walks. As herbalists, we need to point in the right direction, even if it is away from ourselves. I’m happy I was able to show them the plants I knew about, and it was very enjoyable to have such eager students!
I felt blessed to be there and refreshed in spirit – and sorry to leave.
I’ve been busy in my kitchen lately. I’m harvesting wonderful goodies such as feverfew, salvias, speedwells, sorrels, lavenders, mint, lemon balm, plantain, and more. All hanging in my little corner to dry for later use – except those I used right away for chickweed, plantain, and lavender salve.
I am loving how wonderful my kitchen is smelling! We even got some gorgeous roses, but I didn’t get a picture before they faded. 🙁
With the herbs that I’m drying, I’ll be able to make my migraine tea, skin healing salves, cough medicine/expectorant, digestive tonics, and more. Just these little herbs. Here are some of my favorites:
Speedwells (veronica): Use the young and small leaves in salads, the older leaves for skin healing salves and in tinctures.
Sorrels: In my yard, we have yellow wood sorrel (oxalis stricta), and it’s such a fun herb. Sometimes while I’m picking, I eat it raw – and love the lemony taste. I developed a tea with it I call “Lemon-not-Lemon Tea. And since normal lemon tends to antagonize my vertigo conditions, it’s a wonderful alternative for me.
Woodland Sage (salvia nemorosa L.): I love these purple salvias – they are long-blooming and gorgeous. Although it’s not the most medicinally useful of the sages (like salvia officianalis) it can still be useful. The leaves are anti-inflammatory and are helpful for reducing hot flashes, and as a gargle for sore throats and expectorant for coughs.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is an amazingly beneficial herb and highly effective aromatic. Who doesn’t feel an instant air of calmness when they smell it? Because of its calming and pain-relieving qualities, Lavender is vital to my pain management. But it’s also very good for the skin so it’s wonderful in salves and lotions. I’m also a big fan of chamomile and lavender tea for when I can’t sleep.