Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wondiferous Weed Walk

Tina & I have known Fred and Barb Will for quite some time through the old PA Herb Business Association and we see them every spring at the Landis Valley Herb & Garden Faire where we are "next door neighbors". It seems every year, we (actually Tina) mention some plant or other that we have been looking for and, oddly enough, the Wills have it growing on their property and Fred brings us a big shovelfull or two to plant in our own woods.
Last spring we were talking about what a treasure trove of plants they must have and how much fun it would be to take a long weed walk with Fred through his woods and see all these plants in their "home." Thus hatched the plan for "The Wondiferous Weed Walk."

We traveled out to Somerset, PA on Friday for the event. We got there Friday afternoon and wandered around finding vista after vista of beautiful wildflowers and herbs. This is just a quick example of a hillside of ironweed and Queen Anne's lace. I can't do them justice because everywhere we looked was some new plant, another stunning combination of colors... it was amazing.

That evening, we met up with our hosts, Fred & Barb as well as a few of the other folks who had gotten in the night before the event for dinner. It was delicious and I wish I had taken a picture of the "skillet cookie" we had for desert. Three of us shared it and there was enough left over for another person!
After a night at the campground - which I promise to not whine about except to say I'm just too old to go camping again, even in a "bunkhouse," we made our way to the Wills' home.

The main event of the day was Fred leading us on THE Wondiferous Weed Walk! Here are just a few of the sights we saw:
Shagbark Hickory. I even found some nuts, still in their green coating.
Devil's Walking Stick. As Fred said, so full of jaggers even the Devil doesn't want to touch it.
Wild Yam. For some reason, I always thought it was a tropical plant, but I guess I was wrong! Here, it is wound around this maple sapling.
Just a quick shot of Tina in her element... foraging with a basket in hand.
And finally, the bath house at the campground. On the right are the toilet stalls and on the left are the showers. The glass block windows and the interesting paneling on the doors lead me to believe the camp ground was built in the 50's or so.

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

Beautiful photos Maryanne! Lamenting that I wasn't able to enjoy the afternoon, but I heard all about it! Love the shot of Fred, Tina, the Devil's Walking stick!