Sunday, October 29, 2006

Drum Roll Please!

As promised in the previous post, here are some more of the pictures Ian and I took of the brilliantly-coloured autumn foliage and some interesting wild plants yesterday.

This first one is a two-foot wide mullein "rosette", the first year's growth of the biennial plant which produces a tall spike of small yellow flowers the second year. Mullein is also called "flannel flower", because the leaves are covered with a soft, dense down. Nice bush TP, but better used as a tea to releive chest congestion. The flowers can be slowly steeped in olive oil (using a double boiler) for a couple of hours, producing an oil which relieves earache and is good for sore joints.

There are also pictures of a bright red "burning bush" which was taken at the Oliver Visitor's Centre, and one of a red pyracanthra bush with huge numbers of berries. A pyracantha bush always reminds me of my Dad. We had them in the garden when I was a girl. The berries would ferment on the bush and the birds would eat them and get roaring drunk. Some would fight like bar room toughs on the lawn, others would stagger around chirping happily. All were totally unable to get off the ground and were easy prey for the neighbour's cat.

My Dad would go out and pick the drunken birds up and bring them into our screen porch. He'd put the fighters into lidless shoeboxes. The happy drunks got put onto an old bed which was covered with a heavy cloth. Once they'd sobered up enough to be able to fly he'd catch them and put them back outside. He was a gruff, undemonstrative man with a heart like melting butter.

Lastly one of wild-growing aloe-type plant, which had white spots and soft spines. Can't find it in my book - it must be a native cactus.


OutHouse Capital of Canada said...


Sorry for not looking at your blog lately, you also have some nice pics, that weed at the top of the post can grow anywhere around herenot needing any water.
it was a windy cool day today so stayed indoors and played with my camera equipment while waiting for the new camera, that way I am ready to roll when I get my hands on it. Dave

Deb said...

It's certainly "fresh", "brisk", "bracing", etc. (we don't have cold here - or so some say. ;)

Yes, there's a nice mullein (that "weed") growing in the dog run, and a couple on our site as well, though they have been scalped by the mower. A highly useful medicinal plant! I am a qualified Herbalist and I have used lots of mullein. I'm always on the lookout for it.

Susan said...

Hi Deb,
Here by way of my dad at Outhouse Capital of Canada.Nice to meet you.
What a lovely blog you have. Its so nice to see the photos of Oliver, as I dont get up there often enough. I live an hour from Vancouver.
Your photography is very nice, loved the one of the vinyard a few days back. Ill be back!

Susan said...

Hi Deb, Here via my Dad at Outhouse Capital of Canada. Love your photos, you certainly have a good eye. I especially liked the vinyard shot, nice lines in that one.I dont get up to Oliver often enough. Looking at your blog was a nice treat.
The story about your Dad with the birds was heartwarming indeed.

SMM said...

you are back!

So that is what our burning bush back in Cowtown was suppose to look like. Oh, well.

I believe we have winter pansies doing their blooming dance on the edge of the beds nearest the start of the forest in our backyard.

Nancy said...

Hi Deb:

My name is Nancy Waldock. I work with Zak at eZ in Vancouver.

Mandy told me about your blog. You are a committed blogger! I have learned a lot about the Okanagan and am particularly interested in medicinal plants. Zak has also told me of your interest.

I wanted to thank you for turning me on to Pema Chodron. Zak gave me the CD's on her talks and I instantly felt a connection with her words and insights.

I know that Zak and Mandy are looking forward to seeing you over the holidays. I hope that I have the pleasure of meeting you some day.

Cheers and keep blogging!


Nancy said...

Hi again Deb:

I think I just left you two comments by mistake, thinking that I lost the first one...somehow.

Definitely do not have the genius technical skill of your son!

Sometimes technology is a pain in the ___. But I would not and could not live without it!