Ol' Touch-Me-Not for the seed pods that, when fat and ripe, explode at the slightest touch.
My boys used to enjoy popping these pods as they climbed the half mile of our road after the school bus had let them off at our mailbox. That walk could stretch out well over an hour when Jewel Weed seed pods were ripe . . . or mulberries . . .or wild raspberries.
Orange is the most common variety but Pale Jewel Weed grows here too, its yellow blooms shining out in the dappled shade. Jewel Weed often grows near Poison Ivy and a folk remedy for the itching caused by this unfriendly plant is to crush the fat hollow stems of the Jewel Weed and rub on the afflicted skin. It works a bit like aloe and is handy, though not as effective as hydro cortisone.
I recently had an e-mail from a new reader who said she'd loved the characters of Ish and Mariah. She also said that she had been exploring the history of Jews in Appalachia and had come across some interesting suggestions that the Melungeons were descended from Jews fleeing persecution in Europe.
This caught my fancy and I found that there's lots of info on this theory out there -- this website being just one. And then I began to think about what if somewhere down the road I were to explore Ish and Mariah's story much more fully in a standalone.
Then I could use that book I got at the library book sale -- the one about keeping an orthodox household.
I knew there was a reason I had to have that book!
LV - January 2012
7 years ago