Our vacation has not ended yet. Va, Beth, and I are on our way to Mt Crawford, VA to buy some books at the Green Valley Book Fair. That is one of the things she misses the most about living in VA. We were going to try to work it in to our trip to KY, but they are only open for two weeks at a time, and none of those times overlapped a time when Jonathan could break away from school. So we’re making a special trip.

Right now we’re in Mechanicsburg, PA. Beth and I just finished a nice “swim”. The pool was frigid, but the spa was nice and hot, so we spent all our time in there. I did take a lap around the pool, but that was quite enough for me!

We were home long enough for me to find some new blooms at the house though. The pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) bloomed, and that’s one I looked for and missed last year. I never found a single one in bloom. Friday I found two.

pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata)

For some reason, I had it in my head that the wintergreen (which is closely related to the pipsissewa) had already bloomed. But I was very much mistaken in that notion. They were just starting to bloom Friday:

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)

I was also a bit surprised to see that the goldenrod (Solidago spp.) was in bloom.

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)

Then at the foot of Mount Major yesterday, I spotted some jewel weed (Impatiens capensis):

Jewel weed (Impatiens capensis)

Jewel weed (Impatiens capensis)


This stuff is also called spotted touch-me-not, because when the seeds ripen, the slightest disturbance causes the seed pod to explode, flinging seeds out at a very high speed. I think I read it was one of the fastest plant motions on record.

A lot of people believe that the sap from this plant is an effective treatment for poison ivy, but science has shown this to not be the case. I was a little disheartened to be informed of its supposed healing powers yesterday by someone I had told about this last year. I guess she didn’t believe me.

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