Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sky blue morning

The lush summer is here on the W&OD. If you like abundant moisture in your air, you are at home.
For my morning commute I enjoyed the heavy air, rich with the fragrance of mimosa and the lulling repetition of catbird calls. There was chicory all along the trail. Sky blue. Staring at and tracking the rising sun. It is a morning flower (top photo). Deep rooted and gritty. By afternoon the flowers have given up trying to understand solar physics and closed for the day (bottom photo).

Chicory seeds are loved by Goldfinches. The plant is a European native with many food and beverage uses. New to me was this one: "While modern farmers might use reapers to cut their chicory, there was a time long ago when only a golden sickle or a knife made from the horn of a stag could be used to cut the plant, which was harvested on certain special days, not as food for livestock but as an aphrodisiac for man." (J. Sanders. 2003. The Secrets of Wildflowers)
I did not see anyone with a stag-horn knife on the trail today.