Wednesday, April 9, 2008
As often happens I was inspired by one of Kym’s photo’s on “The Redheaded Blackbelt” blog. I stole the photo off her blog, so she will have every right to sue me. But as any good lawyer will tell you, the main reason to sue would be to reasonably collect on your lawsuit. Which would imply that there would be something to gain. So Kym will always have to face the fact that some looser is going to steal her great photography. So, I hope that she takes my theft as a compliment and not be too offended.
(click on photo to enlarge)
If you look closely, under the limb, on the ground, there is a sword leafed plant that looks like what I have always called a "Bear Onion". The older newcomers call it an "Indian Soap Root". The newest newcomers call it an chlorogalum pomeridianum.
It was used by the Indians to bathe with. If you dig up the plant, it has about a baseball sized root, that if you peal the outside layers off will provide a white somewhat slimy surface. The roots soap is said to cure poison oak. I don't get poison oak so I don't know, also I've never known an Indian to get poison oak, so I don't know where the legend came from. I've always thought that if you live outdoors on the north coast, you are either immune to poison oak or you died, so it must be genetic to not get it.
The root is distinctive in that it looks kind of like an Iris, only the leaves have a wavy look to them. I stole this photo off the net also but didn't know who to give credit to.
The other, and possibly main use that the Indians had for this root was fishing. They would pound the onion into pulp that they would wash into a stream, the juice would stupefy the fish and the Indians would wait at the riffle to catch the stupid fish. Then they would cook and eat them.
What we would do as kids, is pick the leaves and tear them into small segments and make chains as long as we could. The juice in the leaves forms a spider-web like material that will hold the segments together. Kids can be entertained for hours playing with them. Okay, maybe the root made us stupid too!
Posted by Ernie Branscomb at 2:15 PM