Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~William Butler Yeats, “The Land of Heart’s Desire,” 1894
The severe heat and then follow-up rain have both been major deterrents for our usual summery forest and field hikes, both close to home and further afield. This has affected harvesting, of course (although tomorrow we head again to Eddie’s place, a vast and magical forested area half an hour north of here, where I plan to make much medicine in the months ahead). Locally, things have started to close in a little bit; the farmer nearby me persists in spraying maniacally all summer long, so the back field, with it’s celebration of Solomon’ s Seal, agrimony, balmony, garlic mustard, blue cohosh, maidenhair, self heal and many more, is impossible even to walk in, much less harvest. The field I loved so well, by Johnston Lake, is now filled with sheep. And my beloved woodland by Mahon Lake, while still open for our occasional walks, is often home to ATV yahoos, screaming children, and guys with hostile dogs running loose. Of course, I lost access to the forest behind the community centre when the chap with 11 unsocialized dogs moved in across from it. It feels, sometimes, like I’m being gently (or not so gently) encouraged to accelerate my search for wilder land, further out.
Be that as it may. My work continues, in the places I can get to, and my garden, and online – and soon, with office space in the village. I know I’ll get to the land I seek, one day, not too far to enjoy many good years there.
And here, today, some pictures from our walks..down Moncrieff, towards Mahon Lake – and into the forest.
Painted Lady on red clover
Goldenrod, two spp – almost ready for harvest
beautiful but poisonous (to us) Virginia Creeper berries
Ancient cedar in the entrance to my Temple..a Guardian spirit of the Old Ways..
Magical Aralia racemosa – Spikenard – ‘herb of the student.’ Spikenard increases mental clarity, helping to more quickly learn from experiences and to remember details when studying”
hhhmm, better go back and ask for a little..
Here be faeries…the realm of the Maidenhair!
He hears, sees, smells, much more then I’ll ever know.
So, a lovely morning..found at last, some alder…came home renewed and refreshed and at peace.
Tomorrow, we return, with muffins for the fae..and a bouquet for the Spirits of the cedar and the pine.