This is a blog about the pursuits of Naturalist Alan Russo to incorporate all things Natural, especially Plants, into his daily life. Living close to Nature has always been a passion of mine and I try, with natures help, to live a Healthy lifestyle for myself and for the Earth.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's the little things.

Henbit Flowers

 There are many things in nature that can teach us powerful lessons. 
 We here in the US, and probably most of the developed world, live at a pace that is much too fast for our own good and the good of the environment that supports us. How often do you take time to "smell the Roses". Probably not nearly as often as you should.
 Case in point, a little plant called Henbit. This is a plant that usually only gets noticed when it infiltrates your lawn or your garden. Most consider it a noxious weed, than proceed to pull it or poison it to death to remove it from their land without a second thought. Yet this little plant has a powerful lesson to teach, and that lesson is to take time to look more closely at the things we normally just walk over and trample under foot, you may be surprised what you find!
 When ever I do a plant walk I always take a 10x loupe with me to show people another perspective on the common nature that surrounds us.. Henbit is one of the plants I love to find on my walks. From the human standpoint (literally) the plant looks like a jumbled carpet of course and uninviting green stuff that is usually stepped on and ignored on your way to wherever you are headed. But if you take a closer look  you notice the unimpressive pink/purple things hanging off the end of the stalks. If you pick one and look at it more closely you see it is a tubular shaped flower, but still to small to be greatly appreciated. The magic happens when you put the loupe up to your eye and bring the flower into focus. The super intricate and beautifully colored flowers are beyond beautiful, they can easily be compared to some of the worlds most beautiful and expensive orchids. If you happen to have a dissecting microscope the intricacy and the beauty multiply 100 fold! You will quickly forget you are looking at a common "weed". You will never be the same!
 I have seen beautiful things happen by handing and teaching someone to use a loupe. I have seen people get watery eyes looking at the beauty of the small things in nature. Many people don't want to pass the loupe to the next person because they can't believe the beauty they are beholding. Mostly people just stand in disbelief and say WOW thats incredible! These people will never look at things the same way, they have learned a powerful lesson.
  Other plants with the same WOW factor are Chickweed, Purple Dead Nettle, and the Speedwells. There are many more of course, but these are sure to be in abundance as the weather gets warmer. Till than you will have to settle for the lowly weed Henbit.

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