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Monday, May 14, 2012

Dog with an Attitude, Poke Weed and Elvis?

Head of Ranch Security Summer Buzz Cut.
I just love the tail.
Good morning, All.  The weather has been beautiful lately.  We have actually gotten some rain and the last 2 days the temperature has been tolerable.

As you might imagine from looking at the photo, Chi was not too thrilled with me for about a week after the haircut.  I have never had a dog that could give me the "cold shoulder" quite as effectively as she can.  She will sit as close to Cousin Sandra as she can, cast those lovely brown eyes over me disdainfully, then slowly close her eyes, and lift and turn that pointy nose in the opposite direction until she isn't looking at me.  I guess in doggiedom, if you cannot be seen you just may not exist.  Sorry, Chi Chi girl.

There are still some wildflowers blooming.  So let's go for a walk and let us see what we can see.......

Wild Foxglove Penstemon cobaea
Photo taken at Spring Creek Preserve
 Wild Foxglove Penstemon cobaea

Other common names....Prairie penstemon, Foxglove penstemon, False foxglove, Large-flowered beardtongue, Large-flowered penstemon, Prairie beardtongue, Cobaea penstemon

Wild foxglove is not related to the true European foxglove.  The European foxglove is from the genus, Digitalis which is in no way related to the genus Penstemon.  Our wildflower is in the genus Penstemon.  Info from Ask Mr. Smarty Plants at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Wild Foxglove is easily grown from seed.  Just snap off a flower that is done flowering, let the seeds dry then scatter the seeds.

Poke Weed

The photo on the left is NOT Elderberry flowers!  It is poke weed!  An interesting plant.  It is edible.  Oh, just for the record.  We do not eat Poke, and I won't recommend or not recommend eating it because in the South, well, let me put it this way.  If someone's memaw, mama, aunt or neighbor cooked and ate this plant, you might just be treading on sensitive territory.  So, when dealing with any herb, please do your research!) It does contain poison (phytolaccatoxin, triterpene, saponis, phytolaccin and histamines).  Poke is a very, very powerful medicine plant but you really have to know what you are doing!  Poke is one of those old fashion folk plants.  Did you know that there is a Tennessee Polk (Poke) Salad Association?  Yeah, check this out!  http://rockytopgen.com/polksalad.index.html  "The purpose of our association is to inform the public as to the different way to safely and properly prepare "Polk Salad" for consumption as a healthy and nutritious food source."  The Tennessee Assoc. spells the weed's name P.o.l.k because of the spelling in the following song.

Milk Weed
"Polk Salad" Annie
Sung by Elvis Presley
Lyrics by Tony Joe White

If some of ya'll never been down South too much...
I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this, so that you'll understand
What I'm talking about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods and the fields,
looks somethin' like a turnip green,
Everybody calls it "Polk Salad",
Indian Blanket
Gaillardia also, called Firewheel
Used to know a girl that lived down there and 
she'd go out in the evenings and pick a mess of it...
Carry it home and cook it for supper, 'cause that was about all they had to eat,
But they did all right.

Down in Louisiana where the alligators grow so mean
There lived a girl that I swear to the world made the alligators look tame
"Polk Salad" Annie "Polk Salad" Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her mama was working on the chain-gang
(a mean, vicious woman)                                             

Barbara's Buttons
Marshallia caepitosa

Everyday 'fore supper time she'd go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess o' "Polk Salad" and carry it home in a tote sack
"Polk Salad" Annie 'Gators got your granny 
Everybody said it was a shame
"Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain gang
(a wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman)
Lord have mercy, Pick a mess of it.
Her daddy was lazy and no count
Claimed he had a bad back
All her brothers were fit for was stealin' watermelons out of my truck patch
"Polk Salad"Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her mama was a working' on the chain gang

(Sock a little "Polk Salad" To me, you know I need a mess of it)

Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta
Well, that was fun!  Hope you have a great week!  Remember...

Native Plant Society of Texas 
Winnsboro Chapter
will meet at StarDragonfly Herbals
Thursday, May 17 at 6:00 pm 

We will be having a potluck supper....so if your plannin' on makin' the meetin', please bring your favorite dish or dessert!  We will provide ice tea and homemade sourdough bread + herb butter.  

Oh, and if your goin' to be a little late, let me know and we will eat supper then look at the plants around the house, before venturing off onto Mr. C's land.

Please RSVP at stdragonfly@yahoo.com and I will email you directions to the farm. 

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.
Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley
photo from Rolling Stones

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