per·i·pa·tet·ic
ˌperēpəˈtedik/
adjective
  1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
    Aristotelian.
noun
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Withering Into Truth...About Maidenhair and Mandrake

SAM, don't sit under the ginkgo tree with anyone else but me!

The Coming of Wisdom with Time

Though leaves are many, the root is one;
Through all the lying days of my youth
I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun;
Now I may wither into the truth.

(a poem by W. B. Yeats)

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Now that the ginkgo (stinko) fruit produced last Autumn in the back yard has dried up, been raked up, and piled up in the corners of my mind yard, SAM and I can comfortably sit, soak up some afternoon sun this Spring when our work for the day is done, and possibly wither into truth. I daresay that we are working and living more wisely these days, and the ginkgo (maidenhair) tree may play a part in that supposition: SAM is able to work from home except when supervisory field work is required; we now live close enough to many amenities like the library, a small grocery, the bank, and a video store to walk to them; and I don't have to pay rent for my work space. Of course, I don't have many clients yet, but time and a few good referrals will take care of that shortage. I just need to make sure those future clients--if they arrive for the first time next Autumn--understand that ginkgo is just all right with me. In fact, it's more than all right. It's essential (as in oil extract), used for centuries as a medicine and dietary supplement (reputed for its positive effects on the circulatory and nervous systems), and loved by squirrels and birds--at least the ones locally--as a food source and nesting habitat.

American mandrake (Podophyllum) seen at Murphysboro State Park
Besides admiring the ginkgo we have acquired along with our house, we have taken to walking around the lake at Murphysboro State Park, which is about a 5-mile, quite hilly stroll (though we have seen some youngsters take a run at it). The Mayapples, otherwise known as American mandrake, are among the first plants to pop up from last year's leaves and attract attention in the Spring. The picture above was taken several weeks ago, and the flowers that were so attractive then have now formed small "apples" or fruit that are barely visible beneath the large leaflets. This article about the Mayapple from WebMD suggests that some people (despite most medical advice to the contrary) still use these plants for various medicinal purposes. I have to wonder...

If Eve were Lilliputian in size, perhaps the Mayapple was the forbidden fruit she coaxed Adam to eat. After all, one of its common names is the Devil's Apple....


12 comments:

  1. I'm always glad when I learn from my fellow bloggers. Example: I didn't know mayapple and mandrake were the same thing. Silly me always thought mandrake was something that grew only in Britain. Don't know where that idea came from. Anyway, love your header photo. I would love to kayak on summer days.

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    1. Marnie, I didn't know about the difference either until I prepared this post. I've always thought of the plant as a mayapple. I'm glad you like the header pic. Kayaking is something SAM and love to do when we have the time and the energy. It's a bit of a struggle to launch the boats, but they are easy to use once in the water.

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  2. I love that Yeats poem, as one who is withering - I hope - into wisdom, and you've provided some very interesting information about ginkgos and mandrakes. Very informative post.

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    1. Ms. Dorothy, some of Yeats' work is a little vague/nebulous, but this one is easy enough for even little ol' me to understand:) Thanks, I'm glad you like the post.

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  3. Video store. For some reason I almost stopped there. :-) I haven't read that phrase in aeons. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Yes, ACIL, we have a video store in town (actually, there are two, but only one of them has a wide variety of movies to watch). It's hard to believe in this day and age but true. We are glad about it too because our television watching is limited by the fact that we use a rabbit ears' antenna for reception. Neither one of us can stomach the idea of paying a lot of money for the mostly useless programming available on cable or satellite television. If I'm going to watch mostly idiotic shows, they might as well be free.

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  4. How marvelous to have a ginkgo tree in your yard and shops in walking distance! It is a blessing to work at home too.

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    1. Sarah, the ginkgo is marvelous for about nine months out of the year. The smell of the fruit is really nauseating for about a month, and then the blessed freezing temps stifle the smell. I never thought I would be thankful for winter:) And we do feel fortunate to not have to drive much anymore. The shops that I wish would move into town are a greengrocer and/or a local co-op. We did plant a garden so that will provide some of our veggies and fruit, and there is a farmers' market once a week and a co-op in a nearby town so we're not feeling too deprived.

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  5. Interesting. We have lots of mayapples but no ginkos here though Ive seen them south of us in Iowa...:)

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    1. You should probably consider yourself fortunate, TB, for the lack of ginkgo trees in your area. The air up there is much the better for it.

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  6. Nice post. thanks for the shared with us. grey fabric

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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