Yesterday was a beautiful day. Not only was it bright and sunny, it was my birthday, so to celebrate I went for a walk along the coast.
I walked my usual route from the coastguard station at Crosby and after a couple of hundred yards I spotted a small clump of white flowers.
The plant was about 10 cm in height and the flower 2.5 cm in width. I had to get my knees dirty to obtain the shot. I do not recognise the flower so I need to do a bit of research.
A while later I paused to look at some lichen growing in a tree branch. It is quite pretty when you get close in.
I made my way down to the shore but could not go on the beach as the tide was in. I sat on my ‘Monster log’ and just let the world go by. It was very peaceful with just the sound of the lapping waves and the cry of the gulls. The gentle breeze was just enough to turn the offshore wind turbines in lazy circles.
As I walked back I was amazed at how much of the shoreline had been eroded during the winter storms.
Alongside the path I spotted some Coltsfoot. A sure sign that Spring had arrived.
Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara, is a member of the daisy family and the flowers and young leaves are rich in mucilage. From ancient times they have been used as a remedy for coughs and sore throats. The scientific name Tussilago is derived from the Latin word tussis =cough.
The plant was also used as a herbal tobacco and smoked to relieve asthma and catarrh.
Culpepper in his famous herbal of 1653 wrote “ The fresh leaves or juice or syrup thereof, is good for a bad dry cough, or wheezing and shortness of breath. The dry leaves are best for those who have their rheums and distillations upon their lungs causing a cough”.
Syrup of Coltsfoot used to be prepared from the formula in the British Pharmacopeia. Old alchemists such as me can remember it.
Coltsfoot has now fell out of use and it has been founds to contain liver. toxic alkaloids.
Later that evening I went out to celebrate at a local Mexican restaurant.I had a lovely meal accompanied of course by a bottle of red wine . Later, back home I opened a bottle of Spanish Brandy that I had been given and enjoyed a La Mumba caliante. It reminded me that it is only eight weeks till I will be back in Mallorca.
This morning I seem to have an headache. It must have been the walk home in the cold that caused it!