Nature Walk with Herbalist Julie James at Ernest E. Debs Regional Park!

.......books from Julie's collection....

Last Saturday, we went on a nature walk with the meet up group "Green Wisdom".....Julie James, the master herbalist, guided our group through this beautiful park, recognizing over 20 plants, many of which we could eat and use in soups, make infusions and use for wounds and inflammation...to say the least....below are the pictures and names for each plant...along with my notes....

1) Coyote Mint, poofy purple flower, Laminaceae family like Rosemary

2) Bella Donna, somewhat toxic (night shade family)

3) Oak Tree, has tannins, boil leaves and apply to wounds, anti-inflammatory, cooling, good for skin irritations, constriction of tissue, use leaves dry or fresh, bark is medicinally stronger and the root is even stronger.

4) Mule Fat

5) Willie Blue Pearls, anti-microbial, Laminaceae family

6) Elder, common CA plant, beige flower clusters, best known as Elderberry, seeds are toxic if consumed in large amounts, black elderberry syrup is delicious and recipes can be found online, harvest berries around spring time to make syrup (remove seeds), improves circulation if taken over a long period of time, strengthens eyes and heart. Flower: immune system, make apple cider vinegar extraction and keep it for years!

7) Black Sage (salvia), Laminaceae family, anti-fungal, rich in essential oils, cooling and constrictive affect, helps reduce perspiration (make an extraction in vinegar for 2 weeks or stick leaves in your socks and walk on them).

8) Sage Brush (not salvia), aromatic, anti-microbial and anti-fungal, good for pelvic area and uterus, not good for pregnant women, stimulates the liver and gall bladder, Asteraceae family....sorry, no picture.

9) Mugwart, stimulates dreaming

10) Green Walnut Tree, good for parasites (extract), harvest unripe hulls to make tincture....forgot to photograph....

11) Mustard Weed, on "Dirty Dozen" list because it's not a CA native and it's taking over the landscapes! High in sulfur, valuable for liver functions, warming affects for tissues, low metabolism, good if you have cold hands and feet.

12) Oat, also on Dirty Dozen list, harvest in early spring, milky oats are healing for the adrenals and nervous system. Oat straw: rich in calcium, magnesium and silica.

13) Goose Berry, tannin rich....also forgot to photograph....

14) Monkey Flower, for fear of the unknown

15) Loofa Plant!!

Loofa! But please remove the spiky things before using...

16) Horehound: respiratory system, good for excessive mucus, coughing, infection, extremely bitter taste, make a hot infusion or tincture.

17) Wild Lettuce, gentle sedative, make infusion or extract.

18) Milk Thistle, liver supporter, seeds can be eaten, not water soluble, make tincture/alcoholic extraction or just eat them!

19) Cleveland Sage, flowers taste great in a salad.

20) Nettles, awesome nourishing plant! For those living in Long Beach and who can not grow their own nettles....there is a vendor at the Sunday's farmers market that sells nettles...she also sell yummy mushrooms!

21) Lemonade Berry, so sour!

22) Wild Rose, CA native

.....and there were many more but I stopped taking pictures and notes and just listened to Julie and enjoyed the rest of the walk.....


Volunteering for Bunnies at LBCC!!!

Picture found on this link

Yesterday was my first day volunteering at the bunny shelter located at LBCC Long Beach City College. I arrived at the shelter and was greeted by Donna Prindle, the caring leader of the group....She showed me around the shelter, introduced me to other volunteers and of course, the bunnies...We then started cleaning out their cages, feeding them pellets and changing their bedding and water....I couldn't believe it when she told me that they clean the cages every day...there are over 70 bunnies there!! That is a lot of cages and a lot of work.....It was a very fun experience, full of licks and some bites....the funnest part was when I got to cuddle with the bunnies...especially the little one....

So how do most of these bunnies end up there? Many inexperienced bunny owners drop them off and abandon them on campus...mostly after getting them from pet stores....w/o any training as to what the bunnies need and how to take care of them.....Easter time doesn't help either, as many parents get bunnies for their kids thinking they are cute at first and then realize the work involved.....these bunnies have not been neutered/spayed, therefore they reproduce....every 28 days they can have a new litter of around 8-12 bunnies....my goodness! Some of the female bunnies that show up at the shelter are already pregnant! I got to meet one of the bunny mom's and her 8 little ones, the cutest and softest creatures ever!!

Besides their cages being cleaned every day by volunteers, they get to hop around in play pins and receive a lot of love and cuddling time....their diets are pretty healthy too....they are fed veggie pellets, fresh apples, carrots and a bouquet of cilantro, kale, dandelion greens and parsley...while feeding them I was getting hungry myself! The shelter also takes care of neutering/spaying the bunnies so the population stays under control, thank goodness!

The bunnies at LBCC are in such good hands and it was a pleasure to be there and see how many caring people we have in our community.....next time I must bringing my camera so then I have pictures and videos to share with you all!

The shelter needs to find homes for these little guys and gals...and can always use more volunteer hands to help care for them as well. If you are interested in either of the above, please contact Donna Prindle at 562-938-4356 dprindle@lbcc.edu