Sunday, 28 March 2010

Wild Ginger

Let me introduce you to Wild Ginger also known as Canadian Snakeroot.  Its formal name is Asarum canadense of the Family Aristolochiaceae.  I just call it Canadian Wild Ginger.

When you are walking in moist woods, valleys and ravines and suddenly smell the scent of ginger, then you know you are probably walking in a patch of Wild Ginger and you have crushed some leaves underfoot.

Although this wild plant is not related to the ginger you buy in the market, it does have the smell of ginger and was used for centuries in native cooking in much the same way that regular ginger is used.

Like most plants, it was used not only as a seasoning, but also as a medicinal herb by the Native Americans. They, in turn, introduced the European settlers to it, teaching them to add it to certain foods while they were being cooked and then using the roots to make a tea to aid with digestion.  The Iroquois used the roots to treat scarlet fever, colds, urinary disorders and headaches.  Other Native groups used the plant for heart trouble and blood disorders while the cooked root was put into the ear for ear-aches and sore ears.  As well, if the root was cooked with foods such as Mud Catfish, the flavour was improved so that an unpalatable fish went down more easily. 

The leaves are a bit hairy and roughly heart shaped while the flowers range in colour from purple to reddish-brown.  They tend to grow very close to the ground and in the right conditions Canadian Wild Ginger will spread rapidly.  I had a difficult time trying to capture the hairy character of the plant, but, hopefully, I was able to create an impression of hairiness.  
Next, I want to show you what I did with the well-known drawing of miz k.d.  As you can see below, I used it to create a drawing that looks somewhat like Suki (the new cat). 

The reason for doing this is to enable me to use the two drawings, side by side, as my logo.  

Those of you who have purchased either one or both of my paperbacks may have noticed that on the back cover there is a place that says "Colouration Books" and next to that is a small print of the miz k.d. drawing.  In the future, I want to have both cats, facing, side by side, each picture about the size of the first joint of your "baby" finger.  I think it will make an effective logo.  I haven't actually set it up yet, but when I do, I will show you exactly what I mean by including a copy in a future posting.  

May peace be with you.

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