Wanderings in Search of Weeds

I do realize that a weed, by definition, is a plant in a place where it doesn’t belong.  Who decided that anyway.  Can’t a plant grow where it wishes or does it require a planting permit like societies and municipal governments require building permits?  But I digress.

In the last month, I’ve enjoyed watching the many plants kept under winter’s cold wraps, come to life.  What started as a few sporadic specimens grew to grand examples of flourishing communities of plants, some opportunistic, some invasive non-native plants, some native plants, BUT all with their own captivating beauty.  In my personal lists thus far, wild ginseng, jack in the pulpit, wintergreen, lady slipper, horse tail, indian cucumber, wild lily of the valley, bittersweet, partridge berry, comfrey, mullein, marshmallow, blood root, blooming rhododendron, and flourishing wild watercress to name only a few.

What fun to lead and share with a group of like minded pilgrims of the plant world in late May to observe and even, dare I say it, “taste” some of these scrumptious plants. (I’m the guy in the checked shirt talking with everyone else) The crisp morning was inviting for the group of herbal plant enthusiasts at Pondicherry Park in Bridgton.  The Lakes Environmental Association (LEA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the care and preservation of land in the Lakes Region, sponsored the herbal walk.  The May day was ideal following one of our harsher Maine winters.

The reward of participating with such a group is understanding that we are all students in the natural world around us regardless of whether you are leading or following the group.  Lakes Environmental Association (LEA) will be conducting another herbal plant walk on Friday, June 24.  Participants will meet at the LEA Headquarters on Main Street in Bridgton at 9:00 am and then head to the next exciting destination, the Holt Pond Preserve.  The Herbal Walks are part of the Caplan Education Series of Lakes Environmental Association.  More information and sign ups for the next event may be through Sarah Morrison at LEA by telephoning 207-647-8580.

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