Shortly after I came out to British Columbia in early 2006 I had a case of severely high blood pressure. It wouldn't have been fair to an employer for me to work for them until I got my health situation sorted out. I was on medications to lower the blood pressure and it took until early 2007 to find the cause. I finally went to a naturopath who found that a microscopic parasite was the cause for all this.

While getting my health in order, I took up blogging to share my photography. This way I wasn't wasting time and others got to enjoy the photos, not just me and those close to me.

In May of this year I had a mini-stroke cause again by severely high blood pressure. I may end up gong to the naturopath again since the specialist and other MDs can't seem to find the cause. This has only been a problem out here. Before that in Ontario, the blood pressure was only marginally high, not severely high like in BC.

Knowledge is good because being forewarned is forearmed!

All that said, enjoy this blog and all the photos I share with you.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Meadow Buttercups

Buttercups (Ranunculus ssp) are in bloom everywhere from meadows and roadsides to the edge of woods and parks. As lovely as the flowers are to see and appreciate, all of the species are poisonous, though dried their toxins degrade. So, if they are found in hay, they appear to be safe. Animals avoid them otherwise because of their acrid taste. The first two photos were taken on the 3rd of June along 128th Street in Surrey. The last one was taken in Hawthorne Rotary Park (Surrey) along the edge of the woods. They are certainly very bright and colourful with summer here.

Back in southwestern Ontario where I have lived most of my life until settling here last year, there was a spot in the backyard where I kept buttercups. I also had a variety native to the Swiss Alps with larger flowers in another spot in the garden. A meadow mixed with other wild flowers and grasses such as red clover (Trifolium pratense), crownvetch (Coronilla varia), common daisy (Bellis perennis), white clover (Trifolium repens), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), common sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) plus grasses like perennial rye grass (Lolium perenne), meadow foxtail (Alopecuras pratensis), tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), timothy grass (Phleum pratense), sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) and various other grasses is a great sight to see. One of my favourite past times in summer as a youth was watching bees and butterflies in action with the entire meadow alive with activity! Enjoy your summer and the beauty that nature has to offer. There's an adventure around every corner!


Oran Taran said...

Wow, that's a lot of buttercups!
The first pic looks like a yellow river.

I don't think I've ever seen wild flowers in that density.

Volker said...

I couldn't get over them either so that's why I had to take the photos. Back in Ontario I'm used to seeing so many other wildflowers like Queen Ann's Lace (Daucus carota) that would fill meadows much like these buttercups. Queen Ann's Lace is a wild carrot and is edible. It even has that carrot smell that people are familiar with but buttercups have a special place for me. That's why I included them in plantings in my garden.

Oran Taran said...

Oh, I didn't know there were wild carrots out there... I thought they'd been domesticated so they'd be all big and fleshy, but I just searched and they look like real carrots!

That's so cool... I wish there was more wild edible stuff around here. I've only seen blueberries.

Volker said...

The carrots grown in the garden or in agriculture are in the same family as the wild carrot, such as the Nantes carrot (Daucus carota sativus 'Nantes') or the Royal Chantenay carrot (Daucus carota sativus 'Royal Chantenay'), which are just two examples. I've grown the latter one in the garden and yes, the roots can get quite big.

As for edible wild plants, the flowers of the red clover plant can be made into a tea or used as a flavouring in rye bread (as is used in Bavaria). The leaves of the dandelion can be used in a salad or the roots roasted and used as a substitute for coffee. All should be free of chemical sprays (organic) to be safe for consumption. Have you ever tried wild raspberries called "Red Caps" which are small but very flavourful? They were common in gardens and on farms before the 1940s and used for 150 years or so until the new varieties came along (supposedly bigger and better?).

Oran Taran said...

The flowers of the wild carrots look familiar. I might have seen them somewhere... Next time I see one I'll try digging next to it to see if it's a wild carrot.

I didn't know about red clover, but I did know about dandelions. I bought an edible plants book or two way back when, I should take a look at it again.

I've never seen wild raspberries, or tried them. I've only tried the regular ones at the store, and they are very good.

Man! I wish I had space for a garden!

Volker said...

My mistake but the red caps are actually called Black Cap Raspberries or even Thimbleberries. When the fruit fully ripens, it is black and very flavourful. Check out the following links: and