Friday, October 24, 2014

10-24-14




I love being out in nature... and it was one of the factors driving our thought process when we moved back to our hometown, here to PA. We wanted to be close in proximity to my mom's house (which means in town)... but yet close to areas where we could enjoy seeing the occasional deer and such. Fortunately in Potter County... that was not a hard thing.
We often enjoy seeing deer, wild turkey, fox, bear... and recently... a fisher! to our yard.

When I was in 9th grade we had to do a leaf collection for Biology class. I was in heaven then, running through the woods in search of varieties of tree leaves.
Since moving back; I've been trying to re-learn the trees and plants and such.

One of my favorites back then, was the sassafras tree.

According to one website: "Native Americans and early settlers considered sassafras to be a cure all for all sorts of ailments. The root bark was once believed to be a curative, capable of treating everything from headaches to malaria, fever, liver problems, stomachaches and colds. In addition, the wand was believed to increase hunger. The wood, which continues to be used in furniture, was often used in flooring and bedsteads because people believed the sassafras fragrance would drive away bedbugs and other pesky insects.
Early settlers also believed that beds made from sassafras would drive away evil spirits, give people restful sleep and ease problems with the digestive system. Burying money near the roots of a Sassafras tree was said to bring prosperity."

Upon further study, I read that the roots of the sassafras can be steeped to make tea. It was also in the past to make a "root beer like" soda. It was mostly discontinued as it was found (in very large doses) to cause liver problems in rat test studies. (I am old enough that I remember sassafras soda being sold in the area). Although today... some micro-breweries have taken to using small doses in specialty beers.


The photos for today's post are ones I took of a sassafras tree.  This tree is unique in that it sports 3 different shaped leaves: un-lobed oval, bi-lobed (mitten shape) and tri-lobed (the 3 pronged shape).