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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Red Clover, Red Clover, Send Some Right Over

I know the game is "red rover" but
for some reason that little rhyme plays in my head while
I am looking for clover, er, foraging for clover!

I'm still on a "foraging high" thinking about all that free food out there just waiting to be sampled.  I got excited about clover ( trifolium) because it is so easy to identify and seems to be prolific.  Then I realized that there are at least two types of clover on my radar: red (trifolium pratense) and white (trifolium repens).  While they share many commonalities (good for tea making and used to add nitrogen to the soil where it grows), they are also distinct (the red having isoflavens, calcium, potassium and vitamin C, the white offers a higher protein content and helps cattle battle bloating).  

My local hunts turned up plenty of white clover (no random lucky four leaf clovers...yet) but I began to despair over finding much of the pretty, high growing red.  Alas, as we hiked on Father's Day I came upon many large patches of the variety and if I'd had a little baggie with me I would have gathered the blossoms for tea.  As it were I took photos and, tired from my hike, nibbled on a few heads (placebo affect!) while doing so.

Herewith my companion piece to the Dandelion.

Red Clover, White Clover  8 x 6
on cradled hardboard, no frame needed
$45 plus shipping

Crawling around in the fields I confirmed that the red clover leaflet (of which 3 join to make a leaf) is longer and a tad more narrow than the rounder, fatter ones of the white clover.  Both have a V-shaped white marking on each leaflet.  And while the Indians would use the red clover blossom tincture to ward off hot flashes and reduce bone loss, I can add the tiny leaves of the white clover to my soups and salads for a little zing of protein.  

detail of the 3 leaflets of both species

detail showing the red and white blossoms which are composed of 
40-100 teeny tiny little flowers

So I will match my price on last week's piece (it sold quickly, thanks for the additional inquiries) -- I know you are hoping this might be the last of my foraging efforts?!  I'm not entirely sure, I've found that painting these plants has been a great way to further my education on the identification as well as the value of each one.  Who knows what's next??

In Foraging Fun,

p.s. If you are in western NC don't forget the Tour de Art tomorrow, June 25, from 10-4.  There is a map on my facebook page here.  Open studios and an opportunity to meet the artists as you browse original work. 

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