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Botanizing: "Every Part Is Full Of Life"

"Nature will bear the closest inspection; she invites us to lay our eye level with the smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain ... every part is full of life." -- Henry David Thoreau.

I love nature, but the sad truth is I know nothing about it. "It's a tree" or "it's a flower" is about as far as I get.

But last weekend, at the "Spirituality in Nature" study and walking group I joined, I got a glimmer of the fascination Thoreau felt as he examined the natural world from "eye level with the smallest leaf." Thanks to our group leader, I learned a little about "botanizing," which the dictionary defines as studying plants, especially in their natural habitat.

We hit the Horse-Shoe Trail and saw the following:


Poison ivy (important to know for obvious reasons!)

Multiflora rose


Wild matter

Jack-in-the-pulpit (which can change sex from year to year! Who knew?!)

The walk in the woods was a lovely cool, healing time on a very hot day. Thoreau had the right idea!

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2008 10:58 am (UTC)
Sassafras used to be a major ingredient in old-style root beer. I've never seen that plant before, though.

Always good to know poison ivy on sight, though (and its cousins, poison sumac and poison oak). I haven't touched my botanizing in years.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )