"The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves." - Bill Mollison

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hiking With Dog and a Bit About Prunella

We spent a day this past weekend alone in the mountains hiking to one of our favorite mountain lakes, we did not hear or see another soul all day other than the moose that we spooked...a perfect day. While the weather below was very warm the mountains remained cool and refreshing, perfect conditions for our puppy's first all day hike and he did great. What a wonderful little dog and terrific hiking companion he has turned out to be.

My wife and Rowdy taking turns peaking through our favorite holey tree.

Rowdy gazing around Snow Lake keeping an eye out for bears.:)

Lunch break, cheese sandwiches for everyone. Really, she even makes sandwiches for the dog...he loves our bread.


One of the many wild edible plants we came across while hiking was prunella or self-heal. A beautiful little plant with vibrant purple flowers, prunella is a perennial member of the mint family that has long been used in herbal medicine (note - some have white flowers). The root was supposedly used in a tea by Native Americans in ceremonies to help hone their senses before going hunting, perhaps it will help me to notice the bears before they notice us.

We dry this herb for tea and also eat the leaves fresh as often as we can in order to obtain the possible benefits of its reported anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and immune system boosting properties. Once thought to be a gift from God the list of this herbs uses is incredibly extensive so we figure that it would be foolish of us not to make good use of it especially considering prunella grows wild all over our area and the entire plant is edible. I have been saving seeds and with any luck this herb will be a part of our garden next year. I would like nothing more than to blather on and on about prunella but I think I will leave it at that.


I'll leave you with a short snippet of our Huckleberry hound enjoying a healthy snack.


27 comments:

vrtlarica said...

Rowdy grows so fast! I remember your post on introducing Rowdy, it was not that long ago.
You live in a very beautiful place; I just love the nature background on that third picture. Did you go for a swim?
Prunella is another new plant that you have introduced to me. I just googled it and it also can be found in Croatia. Good luck with prunella seeds!

Diane@Peaceful Acres said...

You guys live in a beautiful area! We don't have to sow "heal all" in our garden or any where else for that matter...it grows voluntarily all by it's self!!! I've always thought that it is a gift. But I haven't begun to use it...and I should. I'll have to try it in tea next spring. My garden huckleberries are almost ready. I can't wait.

Phil said...

I love hiking with my dog, I have a few picts at my site <a href="http://utahhikesreviewed.com/>Utah Hiking trails</a>

Mr. H. said...

Vrtlarica - We did not go swimming in the lake as the water was ice cold, there was even a little snow up there...Rowdy didn't even want to jump in and he loves the water.:)

I think Prunella originated in Europe so it will be interesting to see if you come across any in the future.

Diane - The neat thing about prunella is its immune system boosting properties, they are studying it for cancer treatment and other viral diseases such as aids. I even read somewhere, and I wish I could find it again, that it is combined with Bugleweed (another type of mint) as an herbal remedy for lime disease.

Phil - I look forward to stopping by and taking a look at your hiking pictures. Wild edibles and hiking..what could be better than that.:)

Annie's Granny said...

Rowdy is turning into quite the handsome dog. His coat looks so soft and silky, probably from all that good home grown food he eats...and the huckleberries!

Such lovely scenery, thank you for sharing.

kelli said...

aww, rowdy is adorable! love the photo of him through the tree.

thanks for the info on prunella. would love to come across it someday. i'm trying to grow echinacea for it's healing properties, but it's slow growing!=)

Stefaneener said...

Rowdy is such a beauty. And a good hiker, too. Thanks for the pictures -- it reminds me to go look and see if it's too late for huckleberries here.

Ayak said...

What a wonderful day that must have been...lovely pics.

Rowdy is just gorgeous...he looks so healthy!

Laura said...

That sounds like heaven. We've just been over near your part of the world (well, relatively, eastern Montana is still pretty far I guess!) visiting my parents and went on some stunning hikes. And actually I noticed some prunella and was wondering what it was, so thanks!

Julie said...

Snow Lake looks amazing, hope to explore your part of the world one day.
And add another member to the Rowdy fan club!

kitsapFG said...

What a great looking location to hike up to and Rowdy has totally grown! The video reminded me of a bear eating huckleberries.

Interesting plant prunella. I did a little further look at it based on your post and learned quite a bit.

Mr. H. said...

Annie's Granny - Yes, he has come a long way from being the stinky matted coated puppy we first met. He does like his huckleberries, we even add them to his dog food when we make it.

Kelli - Last year I shot a picture of my wife looking through the tree, this year it was Rowdy's turn...I suppose I will have to stick my head through there next year.

Our echinacea is growing very slow as well, the second year is usually when it really takes off.

Stefaneener - It has just been the past 2 months that we have trusted him enough to allow him off the leash in the woods...he did so good. As I write this he is snuggled up sleeping with the grandson...they are inseparable.:) I hope you find some huckleberries.

Ayak - The weather was perfect as it's always much cooler higher up. So far Rowdy is a very healthy happy little dog and will hopefully stay that way.

Laura - Some of the hikes we go on actually take us in to Montana, it really is a beautiful part of the world. I'm glad you had the opportunity to experience some of it and identify some prunella too.:)

Julie - If Rowdy could understand that he had a fan club he would be delighted...he loves attention. All of the mountain lakes that I have been to have been very scenic but Snow lake is definitely one of my favorites.

Mr. H. said...

KitsapFG - He is kind of a wild thing so I suppose eating berries just comes naturally. He is a border collie/kelpie, Kelpie's are a cross between a dingo and some sort of collie so I guesss he still has quite a bit of that wild dog in him.

It would not surprise me at all if you found some prunella growing in the woods around your house. It grows everywhere in the Pacific Northwest and all over the world for that matter...it really is a fascinating little plant.

Sense of Home said...

Love the photo of the dog looking through the hole in the tree. What a beautiful area to hike, my sister used to live in NW Montana, loved hiking there.

-Brenda

Heiko said...

It looks beautiful where you live. On that big sign on the top photo: is it your Roman nose that leaks? Annoying when that happens, but just use a hanky, no point putting up a big sign... Anyway, that prunella looks pretty and sounds healthy.

Our puppy has had to get used to hiking very early on and he is already strong and muscular as a result.

LynnS said...

Once again, Rowdy wins the heart and steals the show!! I love the color of his fur. He seems rather well behaved for a pup, and learning he's part Border, that's a really good thing. Obviously you guys keep him well exercised and happy. Surprised he didn't go in the water -- perhaps he has more sense than the average pup! lol

Beautiful area in and around your region. We never got to that park though, darn it....that's a beautiful spot and being unpopulated makes it even more so. My kind of place to relax and enjoy a day. Glad you had good weather to make an enjoyable trip out of it.

Robbyn said...

Wow, how gorgeous is that lake! I can't believe how fast Rowdy has grown...so beautiful!!

Mr. H. said...

Brenda - We are blessed to have so many wonderful places in Idaho and Montana to hike in. A lot of the dead trees in that area have holes in them, they are the remnants of a great fire that ravaged the area a long time ago.

Heiko - I thought the sign was a little much but gosh darn it I needed a hanky and did not have one on hand. I guess I should have just looked around for a large leaf.:)

I have a feeling Eddie and Rowdy would enjoy hiking together.

Lynn - Rowdy behaves wonderfully for us unless there other people and dogs at which point he becomes a bit to excited. The ice water in that lake is even too cold for the dog...brr.

Hunter is finally back so now the dog has a playmate to keep him busy, they sleep together every night.

Robbyn - It is one of my favorite little mountain lakes and the hike up is just as pretty as the lake.

Elizabeth said...

What a beautiful day for you and your wife...and that adorable berry eating pooch.
I beleive that herbs are a gift from God. He has given us all of the plants we need to heal and nourish every cell of our bodies. Too bad more people can't admit that. We need to get back to nature and back to the basics. I think we make life too complicated with all of the advancements in science and medicine.
Just my thoughts.
Great post!! Loved it.
Peace and Raw Health,
Elizabeth

Mr. H. said...

Elizabeth - I totally agree with you regarding herbs and have a feeling that perhaps one day we return to them once more people realize the drawbacks of our modern diet and medicine. I often wonder if perhaps modern science has not really advanced us at all but instead created an illusion that entraps many into believing we are better off than we really are. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

Mrs. Mac said...

Thanks for the info on the self-heal plant .. it's growing all around our garden and backyard .. will have to start researching its uses. I love the pic of Rowdy in the tree hole :) Just got back fro Nine Mile Cemetery a few days over at Wallace. It's all spruced up for the centennial memorial this weekend honoring the fire fighters that lost their lives in the Big Burn Fire of 1910. I posted some pics here: http://scentedgeranium.blogspot.com/2010/08/big-burn-1910-fire.html

Hi Mrs H

Mrs. Mac

mac said...

So beautiful and peaceful place, thanks for sharing the scenery. Rowdy is so cute.

Just wondering on your hikes have you come across shepherd's purse (capsella bursa-pastoris) and Indian Aster (kalimeris indica). They may be weeds in N. America, but they are tasty wild greens if prepare properly.

Mr. H. said...

Mrs. Mac - It's great that you have some growing in your yard, I think if you dig into the uses of this herb you will find it to be quite impressive.

Thanks for sharing that link, I have been doddling around the woods in the Wallace area my whole life, very rough but beautiful country.

Mac - We do have Sheperd's purse growing all around, unfortunatelly it is one that I always miss as a young plant.I will have to be more diligent in the future as it is another very interesting herbal plant packed full of good stuff. I have never seen the Indian Aster though.

GetSoiled said...

You simply have got the coolest life, wife, dog yadda yadda yadda in the whole wide world!

What a pristine place to be in!!!

Mr. H. said...

GetSoiled - Yep, we are pretty darn cool...especially at the higher elevations.:) Actually, Micki is the cool one for putting up with the rest of us...

Amy Manning said...

Hey that's good to knw about prunella. I think I've got that growing all over my property!

Mr. H. said...

Amy - I hope you do, how neat. It is an amazing herb with many medicinal qualities plus it does not taste half bad in a salad.

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