31 March 2006

As March Ends....

Well, here we are at the end of March. The temperature
shows +16 C., which is about 62 F. The lake near my
home is now free of ice, while I can hear the waves
moving against the rocky shore line.

I took a walk into the medicine woods, to see if I
could spot new plant life pushing through the ground. But,
as I discovered, it's still a bit too early for that to happen.
I did find lots of gold thread, Coptis trifolia, at various
places along my route. It is difficult to mis-identify this
plant, as it has bright yellow rhizomes. Those rhizomes
are very bitter to the taste, and can be used for many
problems, including canker sores, and acid-reflux
problems. For more information, see my plant notes at,

All the best!

Note -- This information is not given as medical advice, but simply
as educational information on traditional remedies and plant
uses. Self-treatment is strictly the responsibility of the
individual(s) concerned.

26 March 2006

Beaver House

As the weather gets warmer, I start thinking of dusting off my kayak and putting it in the water. I'll likely wait a few weeks until the ice is mostly out of the lakes. Last year, my first kayak trip was special -- I followed a stream to Leipsigeak lake, and on the way discovered a large beaver house. I hope you enjoy the photo of my discovery.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I feel like visiting that area again this year. I think it'll be my first kayak trip, again, for the second year running. Last year I saw three beavers, playing about in the water. It's quite wonderful to see and hear a beaver smack its tail against the water. It's a special experience of the outdoor life.

Good medicine, everyone!

23 March 2006

A Weasel in the Water

I'm rather late making this post. It's now 2:46 A.M., on March 23rd. I
had expected to be in bed early tonight, so I could rise by 8 A.M.,
tomorrow morning and begin work on a short story. Well, that's
likely gone by the way side. :) I'll be lucky to start by 10 o'clock!

In any event, I must tell you that I had a unique experience, yesterday.
I was sitting by the lake shore near my home, when I noticed something
moving amongst the rocks, about fifty yards away. When it jumped from
a rock into the water, I recognized the weasel form, immediately. I
sat still as it swam towards me. When it was within fifteen feet, it came
out of the water, and moved gracefully to a rather large flat-topped
rock. It stayed there sunning itself and watching me; occasionally, its
head moved back and forth, as if trying to examine me in detail.

It moved gingerly to within eight feet of my position, then, quickly
retreated, before making its way inland and away from the lake. This
was the first weasel I've seen since last summer. Perhaps we'll meet
again by the lake shore, as I intend to be there often this spring.

Good medicine, everyone!

21 March 2006


I went walking this afternoon in a hardwood stand near my
home. This hardwood area is composed mostly of beech trees,
with scattered growth of poplar, ash and maple. The leaves
from last year's cycle are plentiful on the ground, and made
a crunching sound as I walked over them. The sun was
shining through the stand of trees, and warmed my face as
I took a seat on a old log -- a beech tree that had fallen to the
ground a couple of seasons ago.

I sat on that log, feeling the warmth from the sun, and thinking
about the medicine of the beech tree. Years ago, an old
Mi'kmaq woman told me that she treated TB with the "winter
beech" leaves. It took me a while to understand what she
meant, when she referred to winter beech? She meant those
leaves that remain on the beech tree throughout the winter
season. Those were the leaves she would steep and use for
medicine, including the treatment of TB. I have never
forgotten my conversations with that old lady. She was a
Mi'kmaq elder, and a woman with lots of medicine

My best wishes to everyone!

17 March 2006


As a person who writes about nature, I am always noting interesting
things as I walk about the landscape. I've learned to take notes, mentally,
and to record them when I arrive back home, or even days afterwards.
But, I wouldn't recommend this approach for most people, especially
if you are into recording observations in detail.

I would recommend taking a small note book with you, and a pencil or
pen, or both. In this way, you can record impressions and observations
as they happen. You might even want to make sketches of animals,
birds, or whatever you observe. And, never mind if your sketching
ability isn't what you think it should be -- do it anyhow. It's a good,
healthy practice, both mentally and physically.

Bye for this time,

Smell the Flowers


It won't be long before a number of plants start sprouting
up in the forest, as they begin another cycle of life. Here in
Nova Scotia, it'll happen during April, which is why I enjoy
hiking in the forest at that time of year.

The mayflower, which is the provincial flower of the province,
appears in April. It has an exquisite perfume. I believe the
perfume is relaxing and soothing to the nerves. The blossom
is quite beautiful and ranges from white to a rather deep pink.

Another plant I love to see breaking through the ground, is
the wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis). This was used as both
a medicinal and food plant by some aboriginal people, including
the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. They chewed the rhizomes for
this purpose.

All the best!

Spring! Time to Grab That Tonic Bottle!

Yes, it's almost spring! What a glorious time of the year.
You know, in some respects, it's only because of the hard
dedicated work of nature, during the winter season, in
supplying us with an abundance of cold, blustery, snowy
weather, that we can fully appreciate the glory of spring.
Thank you, winter.

Now, having made that confession, I must say that I've been
terribly concerned this past month or so -- concerned about
whether I would be in the mood to fully appreciate spring.
You see, the winter here in Nova Scotia (even Cape Breton!),
had been so mild and lacking in the blustery, snowy
weather, cited above, that I doubted whether spring would
be much more than cause for a "ho-hum" reaction. I was
wrong! Mother Nature must have heard my concerns, because
we were hit so hard by a cold spell during the last half of
February, that I darn near froze a toe as I walked to the mail
box to pick up my bills and love letters.

So, now, I'm thinking: "Hello, spring, let's grab the tonic
bottle and welcome you home!"

In fact, while on the subject of "tonic," there is one
particular flowering plant that comes to mind -- the
dandelion. It is quite famous as a tonic plant. Have you
ever sat or stood in a field of dandelions, and enjoyed the
beauty of the yellow canvas spread out around you? It is
truly a tonic for the soul and spirit. This, alone, puts us
in a frame of mind suitable for the spring season. In terms
of a physical tonic, or something we can drink to invigorate
our mind and body, the dandelion serves the purpose.

The young leaves can be cleaned and added to salads, to
supply the body with an array of minerals and vitamins. As
well, one ounce of the leaves, steeped for ten minutes in a
pint of water, is a good general tonic that can be sweetened
by the addition of honey or molasses. A wineglass full can be
taken twice daily for tonic purposes. The occasional glass
of dandelion and ginger wine is also a delightful tonic
treat. I have a recipe for this wine. If anyone would like
the recipe, just drop me a line at llacey@tallships.ca, and
I will be happy to send it to you.

My very best wishes to everyone!

14 March 2006

Here's an ethnobotanical note from the first issue of my newsletter, Natural
Healing Talk:

The common juniper, Juniperus communis, and its cousin, Juniperus horizontalis, are
widely known in the plant medicine practices of North American Native
peoples. In Mi'kmaq medicine, the common juniper has a variety of uses. For
instance, the gum was used to heal cuts and sores, while the inner bark and
juice were used to treat stomach ulcers. Terry Willard, in his book, Edible and
Medicinal Plants of the Rocky
Mountains and Neighbouring Territories, writes that
"The Cree called juniperKa-Ka-Kau-mini and made a poultice for wounds out of
the inner bark" (p.33). Oh yes,I do mean the juniper plants, rather than the hackmatack or
tamarack tree, which is often referred to as juniper.

Good medicine always!

12 March 2006

I love this time of the month! The moon is waxing and will be
full on Tuesday, March 14th. It's always nice to go walking
on moonlit nights. Last evening was a mild, +5 celsius, here
on the south shore of Nova Scotia. The moon was bright and,
this, along with the mild weather, made walking a delightful

I'm looking forward to Tuesday, because I plan to mail out the
first issue of my newsletter, Natural Healing Talk. I've written
a rather light-hearted article on spring tonics, and on the value of
dandelions as a general tonic medicine. As well, I've included a
short item on ethnobotany -- this will likely be a monthly feature,
giving information on the use of plants and trees as medicines, by
the Native peoples of North America.

Until next time, my best regards,

p.s. if you wish to subscribe to the newsletter, just write
subscribe@wildworldofplants.com, with "subscribe" in
the subject line.

Note -- The information in this Blog is not given as medical advice,
but simply as educational information on traditional remedies, plant
uses, nature therapy, etcetera. Self-treatment is strictly the
responsibility of the individual(s) concerned.

06 March 2006

Nature and Wellness Article

I recently wrote an article on nature and wellness, which
I've included below. Please feel free to use it in your
blogs, newsletters, or on your web pages, as long as you
include my name as author, and include the footer at the
end of the article. You can benefit by the additional content
on your web page, and I can benefit by having it disseminated
around the web, and some attention given to my newsletter
and web site. Others benefit by having an interesting
article to read.

It's a lovely +3 Celsius and mostly sunny day here on the south shore
of Nova Scotia. As a matter of fact, it's time for me to take
a leisurely walk along the old dirt road, where I live.

All the best!

Wellness and Special Places in Nature
by Laurie Lacey

In this article I will speak about the wonderful healing
Potential of special places. By “special places,” I mean those
places in nature or the natural world that are close to our
hearts, and healing to our mind, body and spirit. If you don’t
yet have your own special place in nature, I would recommend
that you mmake this a goal for the near future.

I have a number of special places, and have used them for the
healing of dis-ease, for inspiration, and the gaining of new
insight into a problem, or to have a respite from the activities
of my normal life. They are a refuge of safety, or places where
we are able to re-orient ourselves, to think about and to
determine goals for ourselves, or simply quiet sanctuaries for

In our special places we are able to engage the landscape
in dialogue; I mean, to get to know an area quite well. We
are able to see how its mood changes with the weather, the
seasons or the time of day. Over time, we also become
acquainted with the animals and birds that frequent our special
place, and may even get to know their behaviour patterns, and
flight paths. For me, it takes on the aura of an old friend – a
place where I can take my problems, a place which gives
both support and intimacy.

It is not my place to tell anyone how they should treat their
dis-ease or to recommend a treatment, nor do I advocate
nature therapy (ecopsychology) practices as a substitute for
professional medical services. However, there are times when
we can empower ourselves to remedy situations on our own,
or with the help of friends, or in conjunction with professional
services. And, too, having special places is a good means of
illness prevention. It is an excellent process, and a free form of
self-help, encouraging us to play a greater role in maintaining
our health and wellness.

Let me conclude this article, with a suggestion: go off into the
natural world and find an area in which you feel relaxed and
comfortable. A place where you feel safe, and are able to
contemplate life in peace. Make this place a refuge in the
weeks and months, ahead. Visit your special place at least
once or twice, weekly. While there, examine the area in detail
noting the bird, animal, and insect life you discover. Begin a
journal of your experiences while in this natural landscape.
Have a brief period of meditation during each visit. As the
weeks and months pass, you will come to realize that your
special place has assumed an important role in your life, and
in helping to define the kind of life you live. You will also
notice what a wonderful role it plays in maintaining your
well-being. Having a special place in nature will help to bring
you a more joyous life.


Laurie Lacey is the publisher of Natural Healing Talk,
a bi-weekly newsletter on natural healing and wellness.
To subscribe, visit http://www.wildworldofplants.com,
or send an email to subscribe@wildworldofplants.com,
with “subscribe” in the subject line.

03 March 2006

Country Road

I just got home from taking a night time walk along the old
country road, near my place. It was fairly dark at first, but
my eyes quickly adjusted, and before long I could see well
enough to easily make my way along the road. I'm always
amazed at how quickly the eyes adjust to darkness. I was
helped somewhat by the snow which reflected whatever
light was available.

After making this post, I'll have a tea, and begin working on
the first issue of my newsletter, Natural Healing Talk. It's
exciting to be doing the small email publication. I'm going to
keep it very basic, with a text format, rather than html. Most
issues will include an ethnobotanical note, as this is a keen
interest of mine. My speciality is the plant and tree medicines
of the First Nations' peoples of North American, especially
Atlantic Canada.

Well, must go. Catch you next time!

I'm sitting in a magical grassy swamp area I discovered last autumn.

02 March 2006

Howdy, everyone!

Well, this is fun! I have my own digs on blogger.com.

I'm new at this, so please bear with me while I set up my space. I hope to make this a place where I post lots of stuff relating to nature, writing, naturalist writings and even nature therapy, natural healing and wellness topics.In fact, I'll likely be all over the place with my posts.

Catch you later!