All posts tagged: Cottonwood buds

Grandmother Cottonwood

Cottonwood buds, the first harvest of the new year. I walked in the cold winter sun out to visit Grandmother Cottonwood. One tall, ancient one surrounded by millions of younger sprouts all interconnected and intertwined under the soft marshy ground of the Sandy River Delta. My fourth year of going forth and gathering the bounty dropped by these giants when they hold their wintry dances in the wild, blowing wind. Water and earth grow tall, hold the riverbank together and then coaxed by the wind throw off gifts for the people. And what sweet gifts they are laying like a pile of discarded antlers on my kitchen table. The resinous buds full of antibacterial and antimicrobial compounds the bark astringent aspirin like. Even the bees know to use this medicine, gathering copious amounts of it to be transformed into Propolis. The thick reddish goop they use to seal their hive against invaders of all sizes. Bacteria, mice, even the wind itself is pushed out. It was a strange sight this time to visit Cottonwood. Blackberry …

Surprise Cottonwood Harvest

Cottonwood buds are usually the first harvest of Spring. In Oregon in February when the sap first starts flowing and the big winds blow branches break off the big trees and litter the forest floor. This year I harvested the sweet, sappy buds in December! On a balmy winter day I was out for a little stroll to one of my favorite, secret hills. Mt. Talbert in the fine town of Happy Valley is tucked away behind a freeway and retirement center. It is actually an amazing wildlife refuge and a unique area where the oak savanna is being restored. A loop around the mountain leads across a little stream, past the ancient Elder, through a dense Cedar forest, around the Oak savannah and a back via a Doug Fir forest. A fabulous variety for such a small area. Since dogs are rare there and people too birds are easier to see and I have lots of space to dream. I have been keeping an eye out at the leaf less trees to practice my …