Sunday, May 9, 2010
Bringing the mountain home...
We went up to our rustic mountain cabin for an overnight. The last time we were there, we had to snowshoe in, but most of the snow is gone now, and spring is making it's first slow appearance. Booker treed his first porcupine, and almost made a much too close acquaintance with it.
The ground cover and scrub oaks have not yet filled in, so I was able to explore some places that are usually more difficult to get to, like this area that deer and elk bed down in when the hot summer sun and noisy people are both too much for them.
Inside the sheltered area were these plants that I have never seen before. I am not a wildflower gatherer; I generally like to find new specimen, identify them and note in my book where I saw them, and leave them in their own environment. But it's been a long while since I've seen anything new there, and these fascinated me! There were a dozen or more new plants coming up, and a number of the old ones in their dried 'last-year' state. The stalks of the dried flowers are about 7-8 feet tall!
It took me several trips back and forth from the plants to our well-worn green book to identify the plants as Deertongue. I decided that I really want to see one grow, but I don't want to disturb the deer and elk when they come back up the mountain, and I also don't want to have to scramble under all the brush that will soon be back to protect them.
So I talked my husband and his handy helper into digging a single one up, and bringing it home to my garden. I know deer and elk won't eat it there, as we don't have any in our neighborhood. However, Booker is in a 'taste the garden' phase, and he tasted the top half-inch off before we got it safely home in it's wash tub.
Yesterday when we got home, I watered it well, and today I planted it in a shady spot in the garden. I believe it has grown an inch at least since we dug it up! If I can keep Booker's mouth off it, I will enjoy having this little piece of the mountain forest in my back yard.