Sunday, August 26, 2012

Water Lilies

Inspired by a recent Star Tribune article on the Lebanon Hills Regional Park that reported that this Dakota County park is a touch of the North Woods, Erika and I hauled the canoe on top of the car and explored. We had a good time following a paddle and portage route across about a half-dozen small lakes linked by quarter-mile portages. Except for power lines and the unceasing roar of aircraft landing and taking off from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, we were almost up north. We would not recommend a weekend visit, when it must be crowded, but we saw few people on Friday.

Highlights included White and Yellow water lilies, common on many Minnesota lakes. Yellow Water Lilies are usually found in more shallow water than White Water Lilies.  The Ojibwa ate cooked White Water Lily flower buds and made tea from the roots, which was said to combat diarrhea.  The root was also "used as a sore throat gargle, a cure for baldness, and a  lotion for boils, sores, and ulcers..." (Walshe 1980). White Water Lilies are food for moose and beavers (Moyle and Moyle 2001). The yellow species also was exploited by native peoples, who used rhizomes for ulcers and broken bones, and drank tea to combat a wide variety of ailments, including heart problems, asthma, and tuberculosis (bcadventure.com). Naturally, gentle readers, I advise against trying folk remedies and I take absolutely no responsibility for those who do.

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