Tag Archives: herb

“Wild Basil – Clinopodium vulgare”

“Wild Basil - Clinopodium vulgare”

“My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker, or nature tourist. I crave a more real and meaningful relationship. The spicy teas and tasty delicacies I prepare from wild ingredients are the bread and wine in which I have communion and fellowship with nature, and with the Author of that nature.” 
― Euell Gibbons

Every hike seems to bring a new discovery. As I walk familiar paths, some splash of colour or unusual shape pulls me deeper into my relationship with nature. This past week, I discovered this wild basil plant. Frankly, I did not know it grew in my area and this is the first time I’ve seen one. Strange, it seemed so familiar but I did not make the connection till later.

Since I did not know what it was till I researched the photo, I did not take the time to test the smell or taste. That will have to wait for a subsequent visit. For now, I’m happy to have the photo as a reminder to return.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/400 sec, f/10.0, ISO 320

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“Herb Robert” – Secord Forest

“Herb Robert Blossom” - Secord Forest

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”
― Alice Walker

This diminutive member of the geranium family has been on my mind since I first encountered it a few weeks ago. I’m finding I’ve missed seeing so many of the smaller wildflowers in the past, then, suddenly, they are everywhere and in unexpected places.

The first time I saw the pale purple gem, was on a Secord Forest trail, where I photographed it, not knowing what it was, and then identified it by referencing my plant identifications books. The next time I saw it, was at the Royal Botanical Gardens, in Burlington, Ontario. I felt like such a botanist, being able to spot and identify this tiny purple flower among all the other plants on display. I’m not sure if they are deliberately included in the gardens or if they were placed there by nature.

On researching the plant I also discovered it has significant uses as a medicinal herb for the treatment of toothaches and nosebleeds and also to heal wounds. The crushed leaves smell like burning rubber, but make a good mosquito repellant. I tried this and it seemed to work, other than the fact that I smelled like burning rubber, which is not necessarily a desirable trait.

Nikon D800
Nikkor AF 28-70mm f/3.5~f/4.5D @ 45mm (28mm extension tube)
1/60 sec, f/5.0, ISO 200

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