Thistle, the thistle this time of year has die back and these rosettes are the promise for the spring, reminding me of the story of Oein DeBhairduin’s story of Why the Dandelions Grow… I can see the star formation clearly in the thistle and its nice to think about earth bound things rooted and reaching for / mirroring the stars.
I am dipping into Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and, curious to see how it looks, I did a search for “sweetgrass” the first link to show was https://www.gouldings.ie/our-products/fertiliser/sweetgrass-fertiliser/ probably the bots in action.
The Latin name for Kimmerer’s American Sweetgrass is Hierochloe odorata, meaning Sacred fragrant grass https://blackstemplants.co.uk/hierochloe-odorata.html this one is rare in Ireland, and known here as Holy Grass, here’s a post about Holy Grass http://www.habitas.org.uk/priority/species.asp?item=2666 and on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierochloe_odorata
We have a type of Sweetgrass in Ireland, known as Floating Sweet-grass
Glyceria fluitans, or Milseán uisce (water sweet) in Irish. Here’s what the plant looks like http://www.irishwildflowers.ie/pages-grasses/g-21.html
Grasses are in the Family, Poaceae
There are lots of grasses in the Glen, I must look out for Sweetgrass when it flowers in the spring, to find it there now would be satisfying. I have been making cordage – a kind of spinning with fingers – from some grasses I gathered there in August, it would be some kind of synchronicity to find out it’s Sweetgrass//Milseán uisce or the other type of Sacred Sweetgrass.
We talked about Bracken – this is how it looks in the Glen at the moment
The fox slipped by behind me I saw the ripple in the bracken as it moved into the valley
It’s Winter in the Glen and the golden Elm leaves are sill attached to stalks shooting up around their old dead parents, the ash is dangling its keys and Ivy showing us its burly winter vigour – woo woo ivy
I Love this sign with it’s open face, there was a board here that told of the wildlife in the Glen, long gone the window now invites you to explore on your own terms and shows the weather at all times, a perfect invitation.
Zooming today we had some time interference as the clocks went back to “real time” in Ireland, so we had an hour to navigate around. We talked about words for river – both creek and burn cut narrow courses, a glen is a valley often gorged from the ice and may or may not host a river today. We talked about looping and cording with plant fibre, stuff that takes time, and about dealing with thistles as big as small people, Bec was catching the heads before they blew and I had been firing them into the designated thistle patch at my mother’s garden. We talked about connections, story telling in sand, Sheelas, visualising with objects (how would you represent a 10cm dilation?) and we decided to set up this site to share our stories.