Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maytide Highs & Lows

{the lilacs are starting to bloom!}

I hope everyone is having a wonderful May so far! :) This Bealtaine season has been a mixed bag for myself.

Due to one reason or another some of our rituals were put on hold until last week, but I don't mind an extended season. Spreading out feasting and celebrations is always a good thing as you get older. ;)

Over the last year there has been a rowan tree that I have been "courting" with offerings in the hopes that I would be able to harvest some of its wood. As I mentioned previously, I will not take any live wood from a rowan outside of the "two days of Bealtaine" {which I believe to be between May 1st to May 5th}, so the window of opportunity is fairly slim. I was looking forward to getting some from this lovely tree, but it didn't quite work out that way.

The rowan is just a bit of a walk from my home, so I usually will bring a libation whenever I walked that way. I would also make sure to go to it once a month to make a proper offering, which I last did in mid-April. That was the last time I had went by to see the rowan before I went on May 3rd to make my small harvest. Unfortunately the tree had been badly damaged by another tree which had fallen onto it, which I presume the cause was a pretty nasty storm we had a few days prior.

I felt terrible. I certainly was not going to take a cutting after seeing that poor tree in that condition. A big branch had broken off the rowan, which was much more than I needed but I took it with the assumption that I was "supposed to". It was not what I had in mind though. A coincidence or a mistake on my part? {Feedback from other workers & worshippers would be appreciated!}

I will have to find another rowan to court for next year {I think one should harvest from a different tree each year, both for practical and superstitious reasons}, but that old tree will still be getting regular offerings and libations.

On a brighter note, a friend of mine who just purchased an old farmstead last Autumn allowed me to take the first cream of her spring-fed well and gave me the Bealtaine morning milk of her goat. In return I did a little blessing ritual for her critters and crops {Carmina Gadelica was again my source for this, which I took a few of the prayers/incantations from the "Labour" section and altered them for my needs}.

She has also welcomed me to wildcraft there whenever I like...the area around her is reputed to be bountiful in morels, chantrelles, fly agaric & oyster mushrooms!

Farm folk are awesome folk. :)

Speaking of harvests, I have had some going on in my own garden! I have been regularly picking dandelion flowers {almost time to make more dandelion vinegar} and leaves, rhubarb, fiddleheads, and sweet woodruff.

With the sweet woodruff I decided to have a try at making some maiwein, which went down quite nicely I must say. This is the concoction that I came up with:

A bottle of white wine {I used Pelee Island Blanc de Blanc and works well enough. Something with a Gewurztraminer grape would probably have been even better.}

9 sprigs of fresh Sweet Woodruff

9 fresh Rowan berries {I harvest them in late August/early September and keep them in the freezer}

Stick the Sweet Woodruff and Rowan berries in the bottle of wine, put cork back on and let it sit a room temperature for 3 hours. Drink chilled.

A little while back we did some planting too. These are the seeds we have planted so far:

{Cupani sweetpeas}

{"Devon" mangetout peas}

{Red Russian kale}

In general I would say that things are coming along pretty good in the garden and on the rest of the property. We have plenty of volunteers such as...

{wild strawberry near our drive way}

The sweet woodruff is going ape shit in the shade bed....

{a cuter version of what happens in Aliens}

And the wild ginger is flowering!



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Scented Nectar said...

I would like a scratch and sniff card for the lilacs and sweet woodruff, please. :)

nefaeria said...

I will work right on that! Patchouli too, when it gets here? ;)

cronnekdhu said...

lovely gem here! Thanks for posting!

Scented Nectar said...

Absolutely patchouli too. :) And if you like, I can give you some scratch and sniff cards of my night scented stocks and mignonette if you like, maybe a scented cornflower or two as well. :)

That would be quite the technology, if a scent replicator could be made. They're still not very good at synthesizing most scents yet.

nefaeria said...

Thanks Darroch! :)

Sounds like a fair trad, SN! :D

Bek said...

Aw, sorry to hear about your rowan :(

It always amazes me how much you grow and make with what you harvest - always such unusual stuff! The seedlings are looking splendid!

Ooh, and having a 'penny drops' moment with patchouli, the plant. I love its smell!