Skunk Cabbage and Springs return

Spring has finally begun to arrive here in western Pennsylvania. The snows are melting and today it hit a balmy 50 degrees! I took advantage of the day and went wandering, and along my way I found what I consider to be the harbinger of Spring…Skunk Cabbage. The scientific name for Skunk Cabbage is Symplocarpus foetidus and it is found in swampy wetlands east of the Mississippi, and if you haven’t gathered by its common name, it smells like a skunk. Though smelling like a skunk may be its most well known attribute, the lesser known and way more exciting one is that it can raise its own temperature through a process known as Thermogenesis. This comes in handy since Skunk Cabbage often begins to bloom before the snow has melted and the ground has thawed making it one of the earliest spring plants to bloom. And on this first real warm day of the year that’s what I found, about a dozen little Skunk Cabbage blooms sticking up through the snow reaching for the sunlight welcoming the spring days to come.

IMG_5102 IMG_5105

A Quote

Autumn is showing itself all around  here in Western Pennsylvania, and in honor of my favorite season here’s a quote from one of my favorite naturalist authors Marcia Bonta.

“On such a day I feel as if no other place on earth could be as beautiful as our piece of the appalachian mountains. They may be incredibly old and worn down, but they are verdant, proof that old age needn’t be ugly or deprived but expansive and breathtaking. To go out with your flame still burning like the leaves of Autumn is the way to die, but are we reborn as the trees are each spring?”

Check her out at http://marciabonta.wordpress.com/

A busy Sunday in Autumn

Spent the last 4 days camping up in the Pennsylvania Mountains where I harvested Coltsfoot, Mullein, Sassafras Root, and Wild Mint! As well as Apples which are now mostly applesauce. Spending all day today pressing tinctures of Elderberry, Ragweed, Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, California Poppy, Mimosa Flowers, Skullcap, Oregon Grape Root, and Damiana. Also making Catnip and Lemon Balm Tinctures. A busy Sunday indeed. Fall is here…Hooray!

Slow Progress and New Tinctures!

Greetings, Summer is in full swing and its hot sunshine has been Luring me outside far more than in, hence the slow progression of the Compass Rose Herbals Site. But on the upside, The herbs are Growing, Tinctures are brewing, and plants are Drying. Coming up soon I will have tinctures of Skullcap, Mimosa Flowers, California Poppy, Dandelion, Licorice root, Astragulus Root, Oregon Grape Root, and Damiana ready to be pressed Bottled and up for sale. Also Coming soon will be Tea Blends as well as Specific Combination Tinctures for what ails ya. Check back for more updates…