Friday, October 5, 2007

Inconsequential assignment

Tina, from The Essential Herbal magazine, challenged bloggers to go outside and find something "inconsequential" to blog about. I grabbed my digital camera and wandered into the garden. I spied (with my little eye) butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) setting seed. You can see that it is in the milkweed family by its seedpods. Butterfly weed (not to be confused with butterfly bush) is also known as pleurisy root as the root is used to treat, you guessed it, pleurisy. The pleura is the membranous lining around the lungs and pleurisy is inflammation of the pleura.

Back to the seed pods...I had gathered some a few days ago and had set them aside to let them dry completely. Then came the task of separating the fluffy bit from the seed. As a child, whenever I saw a milkweed seed fluff in the air, I always exclaimed, "Fairies!" and ran to catch one. If I did catch one, I would close my eyes and make a wish. Then, with a gentle breath, I would blow the seed from my hand and if it got carried on the breeze, the wish was taken to the fairy queen to be granted. Fast forward a few decades and here I am separating the fluff from seed, putting fluff in one pile and the seeds in a bowl. An errant whisper of air manifested and raised all the fluff in a spiral of dancing fairies. How delightful! Enough fluff to grant many wishes! But as I am so blessed with many granted wishes in my life, these fairies are not for me, but are to float along on the currents, perhaps floating into your garden, ready for your wish. So get out into the autumn air, inhale deeply and keep your eyes to the sky...is that a fairy you spy with your little eye? Best wishes!!

5 comments:

Geri said...

How absolutely lovely! I'm restricted to dandelion fluff (no butterfly fluffies around here), but you've given me another reason to whisper to myself when I'm playing with plants. My neighbors will contact you soon.

Tina Sams said...

What a beautiful picture! It IS the time of year for faeries to busily finish up.

LouAnne said...

Not saving the fluff for cq embellishment? Being on the eastern side of the USA now, I'm sure you've seen the fluff from that other plant you mentioned used as embellishment. It's not common to see it here in California, at least where I live. I once found a plant and watched it until it was about to be mowed down. I harvested all the seed pods and the abide now in my stored stash I know not where!

Allison Ann Aller said...

Back in Michigan as a girl, I can remember fields of milkweed in the fall just cloudy with fairies. It was magical.

You made something "inconsequential" into a lovely post!

Angie Goodloe LMT, Herbalist said...

lovely post! I too would make wishes to the fairies.....