Lambs quarters, Lammas, the Hummingbird and the Coral Reef

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Lambs Quarters
Chenopodium Album
Nicknames:
Fat Hen, Goose foot, Pig weed
(Pig weed can be a nickname for other plants such as for amaranth species.)
So look for botanical name to clear up regional nickname differences.
…Even Euell Gibbons said that was a good idea. And all the nicknames for Lambs quarters helped him turn the leaf, so to speak, in using botanical names to be clear!

more about Euell Gibbons

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Lambs quarters during Lammas

Lammas occurs on August 1st. This time of year in the Northern hemisphere is an abundant time for harvesting. (Imbolc takes place at this time of year in the Southern hemisphere.)

Lammas is a many centuries old tradition. Which is still celebrated today. Lambs quarters is said to be a rendition of Lammas quarters and is said to have been one of the first greens served during Lammas. A relative, Orache, is said to have been served during Lammas as well.

Bread is also the celebrated food of Lammas and the successful harvest of grains.

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photo credit, Learn more about Lammas

recipe for lammas bread

(Harvest lambsquarter seed in fall, grind in coffee grinder or hand grist mill. Substitute half amount of wheat flour with lambsquarter seed flour.)

Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh, counts of a time where the God Lugh, a sun god, reigned the world as a: warrior, a many skilled and talented being. Who also yields the glory of the sun and the harvest.

A celebration of the harvest with the Lammas loaf of bread!

August is a significant time for the coral in the sea. Shortly after Lammas, every August, 7-10 days after the full moon… Coral all over the world spawn and reproduce.

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photo credit, more about coral

Reef Relief

Nitrate pollution affects Coral (and Lambs quarters)

Lugh belonged to the Tuatha de Danaan people. His mother Ethniu belonged to (the enemy) or the Fomorii people. The Fomorii people worshipped the goddess Domnu. Goddess of the deep abyss. The Sea. Sea creatures like the dolphin, the salmon. The coral reefs are all sacred to Domnu.

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photo credit, Formorians and Domnu

More about Domnu see description for Donn (Domnu)

Celtic Deities

More about Celtic Deities

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Story of Lugh, Photo credit.

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As with the story of Domnu predating Lugh. Some research also suggests that the festival of Lugh once involved a commemoration of mourning. Due to his foster mother, Tailtiu dying in her efforts to supply the earth with grain. Also, the layers of myth and story all point to earlier peoples and times…still encoded in the myths.

harvest myth

lugh legends

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Lugh, God of the Sun which gives life to all. Domnu, goddess of his Mother’s people. Gives birth to the amniotic like fluid of the sea. All creatures on earth came originally from the sea.

Why did Lugh, once empowered, go to war with his Mother’s people?
Was it the dawning of the patriarchy?
Some existential angst of the sun?
A trepidation due to the unknown depths and creations of the sea where light ceases to be seen?

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photo credit, 10minuteastronomy.wordpress.com

Whereas, The full moon, in August, enacts the spawning of coral all over the world. The reflected light of the moon of the Sun. Some would say, is the reflected light of Lugh. The time of Lammas, Lugh’s time of Harvest. The light of the moon shining into the depth’s of the sea. What the Fomorii people would say was Domnu’s sea. The depth of new creation. Sometimes the terrifying but awe inspiring depths. And the hope of coral in the sea.

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Here is to the Happy Hearth! My hearth in my abode.

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The Hearth… is an extension of who and where you are.
Whether at an outdoor kitchen, a simple campsite, cooking with a solar oven, in your home or at a gourmet restaurant…

Making meals with foraged plants are a simple blessing that, not only can nourish, but can heal.
And make your hearth your home.

Here is lamb’s quarters. A foraged plant which has held a huge importance and food source in many parts of the world, such as Europe, Asia and North America. Including for Celtic peoples from which these gods and goddesses have been briefly described.

Historical use

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The story and place of Lambs quarters. How and where to find this plant.

August, time and place.

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Habitat:

Common and widespread
Introduced from Europe
Grows in yards, disturbed sites, vacant lots

Identification and Description:

Small to medium size annual plant
2 feet on average up to 5 feet plus…

Stems erect, usually branched
With a pale green and/or whitish cast

***Caution: Lambs quarters will easily absorb nitrates from fertilizer run off. Harvest only in non-polluted areas.***

fertilizer run off and nitrates health risk

Dietary Note: Lambs quarters contain oxalates which, for those with certain health problems, such as kidney stones, it may be advised to avoid oxalate laden foods.

However, oxalates are in many foods including: berries, spinach, beets, swiss chard, legumes, etc.

And, oxalates play an important role in cell function. “For example, vitamin C is one of the substances that our cells routinely convert into oxalates.”

source, more about oxalates

concise info/includes mild healing effects

It is a highly nutritious plant related to spinach. In fact, lambs quarters, can be an excellent substitute for spinach in recipes!! Give it a try 🙂

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Nutritional Benefits of Lambs Quarters:

According to the following site, Lambs Quarters gives well over a full days supply of Vitamins C and A along with being a good supply of Calcium, Manganese and some B vitamins, along with other nutritional benefits!

Great Chart!

lambs quarter, avocado and olive spread!

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My August birthday and the hummingbird that came to visit!

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird
Selasphorus platycerus

size: 4″

Male: Tiny, iridescent green bird with black throat patch (gorget) that reflects rosy red in sunlight.
Wings and part of the back are green

Female: same as male but lacking the throat patch, much more green on back, tan on flanks

This female, Broad-Tailed hummingbird visited me twice on my birthday.

Terri and I have been birdwatching.

Often by the time we get the binoculars in focus, the bird has either jumped to the back of a tree or likely flown off.

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We get pieces of information each time and often predominantly get different pieces or “noticings.”
For instance, on one birdwatching adventure, I noticed a black cap…on the bird’s head and Terri noticed yellow on the wings, etc.

We review each sighting with “what did you see? Did you see that?” Some of it is the same but often different details emerge. This can be humorous and fumbling at best. But can, we hope, add together for a bigger picture.

The fun thing is humingbirds can hover. As the female did who visited us twice, first thing this morning.

Of all the birds we have been trying to identify and observe, this one let us observe her the closest for the longest.

Twice in a matter of a few minutes! The hovering, inquisitive nature of the hummingbird, made it possible for us to identify what kind of humingbird she, indeed was.

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A female, Broadtailed Hummingbird

Information about Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds

Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds

and more info here

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My birthday cake for two! 🙂

My birthday celebration continued as we also sautéed lambs quarters for a birthday meal.
So delicious we felt happy and nourished to share this celebration meal together!

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Rinsing

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Sautéeing on my Hearth! 🙂

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mmmm!

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Undersides of Lambsquarter leaves

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Mature plants have purple notches at stem joints

And one more look at the plant

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*** There are look alikes out there and different species of chenopodium which may be toxic! Please forage with someone who knows and be careful with new growth as it can resemble inedible species of other plants!

Bring an expert forager with you and get to know the plants in your area. Bring a good text source with you too!

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This post was a creative endeavor. Thankyou for joining me in the journey! August, time and place. Mythology, nutritious greens at time of harvest. The coral reefs after the full moon in August. Watching, bird watching. Learning, lovingly and discernedly the correct plant for foraging. Harvesting and gleaning knowledge about my Celtic background and for the foraged plants our ancestors held dear. Looking to the past. To the future. What surrounds us in the oceans heralded by the protective forces some have described as Domnu. The fragile balance of nature and the awe of the coral reefs. So much to learn when a hummingbird comes nearby to hover. Beating its wings 50 or more times per second.
Learning.
Appreciating!

And happy foraging to You!

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Sources includes links and posted URL’s

Text Sources:

Birds of New Mexico: Field Guide.
by, Stan Tekiela. Adventure Publications, inc. Cambridge, Minnesota, 2003.

Edible Wild Plants. A North American Field Guide to over 200 Natural Foods. By, Thomas S. Elias and Peter A. Dykeman, Sterling Publishing.com, 1982.

Stalking The Wild Asparagus. by Euell Gibbons. Hood, Alan C. & Company, Inc., Publisher. Newer edition 2005.
Originally published 1962.

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Happy Harvest of the Sun!

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About wildlettucegal

certified plant lover 😀

Posted on August 12, 2014, in commentary, Forage, Forage and Wildcraft, photography, recipes and foodways, southwest, wild edibles and the art life. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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