I downloaded an app on my phone called PlantNet. There’s nothing special that made me choose that one, I was just looking for a free app for picture plant identification. This is all about distinguishing the difference between the fantasy version of yourself and the actual self. The fantasy version of myself can name and identify every plant, grass, and tree on the property. This knowledge would have come from hours and hours of walking. In the evenings, while curled up with my hot lavender tea and local nature encyclopedia, I am able to instantly recall and match every picture with a place, having no trouble remembering or figuring out what anything is.
The app has been fun, and after living here for just over four years, I’m finally getting to know my neighbors. There are the ones we’ve always had and known, like dandelion and clover, and there are news ones, like purple dead nettle and mayapple. Yesterday while walking along the western property line, I took a picture of a plant that looked familiar. It came back registering as a carrot. That made sense to me since the top looked like a carrot green, but it didn’t make sense because doesn’t someone have to plant carrots in order for them to grow? I’ve tried growing carrots before and those things are hard to grow and grow to end up looking right.
The picture also registered as queen anne’s lace, which, I had no idea, is also known as wild carrot. The next step seemed to be to see for ourselves. When we reached down to grab hold of the base of the greens, to pull and tug and see if there was indeed some kind of carrot looking root beneath the ground, imagine the surprise when we pulled it up and there was actually a carrot there. We walked back to the house to get hand shovels, and then returned to the roadside and spent the next half hour to forty-five minutes harvesting queen anne’s lace and little grass onions. That evening we enjoyed a simple supper of water, rice, chicken bones, and God-grown carrots.