I don’t think I realized how much this Flower of the Day plant blog has taken over my life until I went on a yoga retreat led by my yoga teacher, Denise Benitez, at this wonderful place:
We spent most of our time doing yoga and eating delicious food but in my free time I wandered around through the grounds looking at wildflowers. I was surprised by how much more vibrant the wild flowers were in their presence than the tame flowers in my garden and around my block. They seemed to call out for my attention. It reminded me of the story Stephen Harrod Buhner told in his book on Sacred Plant Medicine about how plants called out to the people who needed them.
I found a field guide published by the Audubon Society that was supposed to help me identify wildflowers but in order to use the key, I had to learn many botanical terms, like corymb, calyx, pinnate, panicles, bilaterally symmetrical. I drew pictures of the plants I found. And every time I closed my eyes, in meditation, during savasana, or when I went to sleep at night, I saw parts of flowers.
On Sunday, I found a lovely moneywort (which I featured way back on June 8) growing next to the waterfall under the lodge. I also found chia (salvia columbaria) although it’s supposed to only grow in Southwestern deserts, but it’s possible it would grow in Leavenworth where the retreat center is located because I also found a California corn lily (very poisonous, but so pretty with its creamy panicles). I also found chicory and fireweed in the area around the cabin. But I’ve yet to identify the small plant with tiny purple blossoms that smells so sweet and I’m still looking for veronica. I know I will find it eventually. I think I've found everything I've written about so far.