Week 32 of the PBP. Pine. The native peoples of this area called the white pine the “Tree of Peace.” Standing in the white pine grove on the shores of Brewer’s Brook, it’s not at all difficult to imagine how the name came about. There is a deep stillness in the swampiness of the pine […]

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First off, in case anyone here is reading from Europe, I’m not talking about the stuff Socrates used to end his days. Why the shared name? Supposedly, when the needles of Eastern/Canadian hemlock, or Tsuga canadensis,  are crushed, they produce a smell similar to that of poison hemlock. However, Eastern hemlock is a slow-growing, long-lived tree that, unlike many […]

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The Planets: Saturn

I somehow feel like the further out one goes in the solar system, the longer it takes for the energies of a planet to reach us. I have a suspicion this is all in my head, but for the moment, it seems to take ten to twenty minutes for me to synch with the larger […]

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Englishman’s Foot (Plantain)

And, you, Waybread [Plantain], mother of herbs, open to the east, mighty within; carts rolled over you, women rode over you, over you brides cried out, bulls snorted over you. All you withstood then, and were crushed; so you withstand poison and contagion and the loathsome one who travels through the land. —Nine Herbs Charm (trans. Slade 2002) This week’s […]

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In America it is called the ‘Devil’s Apple,’ from its dangerous qualities and the remarkable effects that follow its administration. When the first settlers arrived in Virginia, some ate the leaves of this plant and experienced such strange and unpleasant effects that the colonists (so we are told) gave it this name by which it […]

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