Three weeks of post-graduation life, and I couldn’t be more pleased with life right now. I have been able to discover Portland in brand new ways, going to new places, meeting new people, and doing those things I used to love so much but could never as much as I wanted while in school, like harvesting herbs.
Rob and I have been here for three years as of Sept 12th. I almost can’t believe it! Portland feels like home to me, and I love it more each and every day. I moved here 3 days before school started then was immersed in school the entire time. Needless to say, I didn’t explore Portland the way I would’ve liked. But now I can do just that!
Portland has a number of buttes, which are like tiny mountains popping out of nowhere. One butte can be seen from the freeway, and I always wanted to check it out. So when my friend Ginny asked me to go to Rocky Butte, I was game. The top of the Rocky Butte is not that impressive as I it is manicured in a military prep school fashion (because it was built by the headmaster of a military prep school, go figure). There are nice views of the horizon, though, which are hard to come by in Portland. Mt. Hood to the east, Mt. St. Helen’s to the north and a full view of the sunset, if one were to be there at sunset time.
At the center of the Butte is a water tower or transformer or something similar. It is surrounded with huge rose bushes. My forager self was not prepared. I didn’t bring any baskets, bags or knives. What was I thinking?! The rosehips were so big, ripe, juicy, and abundant, so I stuffed them in any empty space I could find in my bag. The roses were large dark magenta dog roses with a rich fragrance. The few roses I found were dried for tea, and the rosehips are already steeping to make an elixir. Yum!
We meandered down the butte through a steep and winding trail. and made our way up through the neighborhood road to the top. At the edge of the road, stands of Queen Anne’s lace were in full flower, and I picked as many as I could fit in my pockets and bag. I love to make floral water with them, it smells soooo wonderful and makes a great facial toner.
Along the way I found some St. John’s wort in bloom, too. I gathered the flowering tops to dry as tea. This is one of my favorite medicines of the moment, and there is nothing like it being locally harvested and freshly dried.