Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wild Chamomile aka Pineapple Weed iced tea

You know this stuff, right?  Some people call it Pineapple Weed, which was new to me as I had always known it as Wild Chamomile (and, it isn't actually chamomile after all...)  I guess it makes sense though, the blossoms when crushed give off a lovely almost-pineapple-sorta-apple smell and up close their shape is vaguely pineapple-like. 

We find these little guys all over in our hard, sandy, gravelly Minnesota "soil" and right now they're popping up in droves.  They're the wild cousin of the well-known chamomiles that make our soothing teas and you know what?  Just as delicious.

I enlisted the help of my little helpers to gather some of the blossoms.  In their enthusiasm they came up with handfuls of plants, but that's okay.

The boys and I plucked the flower buds off and put them in a bowl.  Sitting there with them it struck me just how nice this moment was and I felt grateful.  We've had a hectic few weeks and this was a bit of much needed calm.

I noticed that A still had a lump of clay clenched in his hand that he had found by the pond.  Earlier he made a horse and then a turtle out of it but had yet to decide on his final design, which we'll dry in the sun and keep for a while.

Charlie and E were supervising, as she does, while chewing on chives. 

Eventually they all wandered off, stopping to grab a basil or cliantro leaf out of the herb garden as they went, leaving momma to finish the job.  The sun was out and a nice breeze was blowing and the repetition of popping the blossoms off into the bowl was sort of soothing.

I think I'd like to make a jelly out of it next or try dyeing wool with it, but today we opted for iced tea, sweetened with dandelion syrup to go with our lunch.

It was mildly herbal, with that subtle apple scent that chamomile has.  Quite a lovely treat and a good experience for the kidlets too.  The way I see it my helpers will have this down pat when my German chamomile blooms...

Here's to ya.  Cheers.

p.s. We gather only wild plants that we can positively identify and only from areas that we trust to be free of pesticides, run-off, and other ickiness.   The occasional bug or clod of dirt is okay with us, but chemicals are not. blech.  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sour puss

Anyone else seeing kitties in my rhubarb?  Alien kitties maybe...


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finding the rainbow

After a few days of rain I find myself eager for the rainbow.  Since none seem to be in sight, I braved the clouds of mosquitos and went in search of one myself.  I found colors scattered throughout my backyard and though some weren't easy to find, I feel better having sought them out.

Wishing you all sunshine today. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The smallest discoveries are sometimes the biggest.  It's all about perspective.
(click on the photos to enlarge)

Monday, June 20, 2011

A quiet return

It's been a full few weeks and I'm feeling oddly quiet as we transition back into our normal routine so for now I'll just share some of the beauty I've seen the past few days and let the photos tell their own tale.


Have a lovely start to your week, everyone.

Saturday, June 04, 2011


Life continues to be a bit busy here.  I suspect the next few weeks will be busier still.  Feeling a little overwhelmed I forced myself down off the painting ladder and outside for a few minutes this morning.  I was glad to see the Sphinx moths returning. (you may notice that I have a little bit of fingernail showing and no band-aids, proof positive that I have not been needling wool or working wood) 

Another pair of robins has made a nest in the wall of my kids' not-quite-completed fort.  And I thought the potted plant was a bad location!  This is about a foot off the ground and I'm truly shocked they've survived this long.  Let's all wish them luck in fending off foxes and small children.  We also have a tiny nest with tiny blue eggs in a shrub by our door with a little momma Chipping Sparrow in it.  Daredevils, these birds.

My nasturtiums are starting to come up and I can't wait to eat them.

My peony and lilacs are starting to bloom and I really can't wait to smell them.

As I was kneeling down to take a photo I was attacked by a 4-legged beast...

Oh sure he looks harmless but he's the master of the sneak attack.  And the shoe-chew.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  See you soon.


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