Veratrum viride, or False Hellebore (extremely toxic and very abundant)
Weekends for our family are mostly where we prefer to be, on the farm with the animals and each other. Lately, though, we’ve noticed that we haven’t made as much time for adventuring and Papa persuaded all of us that we really needed to get up into the mountains. He took us on one of his favourite hikes that he used to do with a very special friend and mentor, Sandy. When Josh was Forrest’s age, Sandy (and another mentor, Jim) would take him up into the mountains that surround our valley. It was there that Josh’s soul was inspired, and those camping trips are what led him onto his own path to becoming a back country ski guide.
Arnica cordifolia, otherwise known simply as the Arnica that we use homeopathically
We haven’t done nearly enough mountain hiking with the kids…and finally they are all at that magical age where there is very little complaining and a whole lot of adventuring. I grew up in a different set of mountains, and my family also did a fair amount of weekend hikes…and they are such a wonderful part of my childhood memories.
Yesterday, everyone wanted to get to the alpine lake and do a little fishing…weren’t we surprised to see ice chunks floating around ~ at the end of June! While rods and tackle boxes were brought out of packs, and a picnic laid out, I spent a few moments soaking in the stillness and birdsong to knit a few rows. But mostly I gazed about, thinking about my husband and his childhood in these mountains.
a handful of Balsam…such pretty colours, though it is dying
Lilium columbianum, Tiger Lily
Sandy married us eleven years ago this September. His kindness and gentleness and humour were legendary. Sadly, he unexpectedly passed away a few weeks ago, leaving a gaping hole in our community…and in my husband’s heart.
Now, we hope to keep his spirit and love of wildness alive as we go hiking with our children into those very same places he took Josh, so many years ago. And up where the views are limitless and the breeze makes your hair dance wildly, that is where we will hear Sandy whispering loving encouragement and unwavering support…and perhaps making a witty remark or two.
Valeriana sitchensis, Sitka Valerian
Until our next mountain adventuring, Sandy…we’ll see you up on the peaks!