I almost stepped on this bird that was sitting on a nest on the ground! You can learn from my mistake and avoid scaring the local wildlife by making sure you are always aware of your surroundings when you step out onto the prairie. I was picking chokecherries on a high hill, when all ofContinue reading “Ziŋtkála wahóȟpi waŋ: Seen while chokecherry picking”
When you’re out walking on the prairies in late spring, the delicate white curls of Yucca flowers stick out, standing up in the prairie landscape, raised on masts from clusters of spiky leaves. These flowers are a delicious vegetable snack, slightly sweet and tasting slightly like raw broccoli. (I’ll have to get a picture ofContinue reading “Yucca seed pods.”
Grindelia squarrosa. If you’re wondering why it’s called gumweed, try touching the leaves or the flower! This plant makes a powerful breathing medicine. It’s best to harvest it after the yellow flowers appear and bloom, but before the flowers start dying and going to seed.
Some people follow celebrities online, reading everything they can about them online. I have crossed paths with plenty of famous people without noticing, but I follow rare plants online with a similar zeal. I had been reading up on Walking Onions for years, and was thrilled when a fellow gardener brought some to share atContinue reading “Walking Onion”
Maštíŋčaphute čháŋ (literally, rabbit nose bush — inexplicably named Buffalo Berry in English). The leaves are oval-shaped and fuzzy, and the shrub is covered with sharp thorns. In the fall, the berries will turn red. Some people wait until after the first frost to harvest, because the berries will be sweeter. I have heard thatContinue reading “Maštíŋčaphute čháŋ”
Uŋžíŋžiŋtka hú. Rosa woodsii. It goes by many names in English, including Woods’ Rose and Wild Rose. Distribution maps show that it grows all over western North America, and also in some eastern areas including Ontario and Québec. Rose hips are widely known as a great source of Vitamin C, in a form that isContinue reading “Flower Biodiversity: Uŋžíŋžiŋtka Hú Waȟčá”
Čhaŋpȟáhu, Prunus americana, Chokecherry bush. Still completely green in mid-June. One of the Lakota names for the moon month of July is Čhaŋpȟásapa wí, the moon when the chokecherries are black [ripe]. After the clusters of white flowers blossom in the spring, small green fruits appear. Over the next couple months, they get bigger. Then,Continue reading “Čhaŋpȟá Tȟózi: Green Chokecherries”
The danger of the last frost of winter has hopefully passed here in North Dakota! Putting some Mandan Bride Corn, a gorgeous heirloom variety from north of here, into the ground this weekend. I got these seeds from Luke and Linda Black Elk at the first Standing Rock Seed Exchange.