Category: Uncategorized

Why Is Burdock an Obnoxious Noxious Plant?

Wooly Burdock LeavesEven though Burdock’s clinging burrs have been the inspiration for the invention of Velcro, they have also created a lot of suffering for animals and birds. The seeds can rapidly spread when burrs attach themselves to clothing and animal fur. These burrs can cause eye, nose, and mouth injuries to livestock causing a lower value at market time. The leaves of the burdock are so large they tend to shade out nearby native plants, thus reducing biodiversity.


A native plant in Asia, one website stated that burdock was probably carried to North America on the legs of the wolly mammoth as they crossed the Bering strait during the Ice Age!!

Another website states it was introduced to North America in 1700s for medicinal properties, also used to make paper and coffee.


burdock rootBurdock has a large taproot system that grows deep and will need to be dug out or use broadleaf herbicide.  No!!!  Wait!!!!  Did I say herbicide???? Ignore that!!! Even though the information recommends using a chemical let’s remember our pollinator friends. Dig out the roots by hand and shovel. The roots are long and it may require some time and muscle. See, already you are receiving some of the physical benefits of having burdock around! While you are digging out your burdock here is something to think about.


In Asia the plant is harvested for its roots and leaves. The roots are similar to carrot or parsnip and can be slow roasted in stews to bring out the sweetness.  The young smaller leaves can be chopped and candied or pureed into smoothies.  It had a slightly bitter taste that can be improved by adding sweet fruit.  According to the University of Maryland Medical Center “Burdock has stronger antioxidant activity than most vegetables and fruit and contains prebiotic properties that can improve health” .

There are certain precautions one must always exercise especially if you have certain allergies or may be pregnant. Do your homework first!


Here is a cool recipe to try!


Burdock Recipe

Greek Cardune , with thanks to Wildman Steve Brill

4 cups immature burdock flower stalks, sliced, parboiled 1 minute insalted water (to remove the bitterness),

with dashes of any vinegar

and olive oil

2 cups water or vegetable stock

2 red onions, sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

4 small tomatoes, sliced

2 cups carrots, sliced

2/3 cups basmati brown rice

3 tbs. fresh dill weed, chopped

The juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp. salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp. white pepper, ground

Simmer all ingredients together over low heat in a covered saucepan 70

minutes, or until the rice is tender.

Serves 6 to 8

There are lots of burdock recipes on the internet these days.  Have fun searching and enjoy the benefits to your good health.

Your pollinator friends thank you.fritillary-butterfly-nature-animal-burdock-wing

Hope Among the Ashes

Silent Sentinels No 2One morning spring morning while travelling by bus from Edmonton to Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, traffic came to a standstill.  Another forest fire was raging up ahead. As the bus crawled ahead in a snail’s pace amid the charred trees a hush fell over the passengers. The devastation of the forest fire was immense. The charred trees leaning against each other created a sad feeling of death and loss. 

Willful Weeds Number 4A few miles further and we were traveling through the area that burnt last year. More charred trees toppled over from the winter winds. Suddenly something caught my eye in the morning sun. A shock of magenta and emerald green amid the blacked earth.  I squinted through the dusty windows of the bus to see miles and miles of magenta running here and there all around the limbless trees. Such an incredible sight.
A Rhapsody of Magenta #1My eyes which were focused on the magenta looked beyond the charred trees and saw only the beautiful sign of hope. This Fireweed, a lowly weed, is natures way of reclaiming disturbed or burnt land. Perhaps it could be a metaphor for those of us who are experiencing devastation or tragedy. Look for something that could be your sign of hope and let it lift you up.

That Was Then This is Now!


My first art exhibition in 1983 was an accidental one.

Bell Island Lighthouse 1992


One summer I came home to visit my parents and brought my Dad my very own painting of “our” lighthouse.  My father had just retired as lighthouse keeper on Bell Island, Newfoundland and I thought this would be a fitting retirement gift.

I was mortified to discover he entered the painting in the local craft fair on the island.  Sharing a painting with family is one thing but with the world is quite another.  I was not ready for that.

imagine my surprise when I discovered it not only won first place but that my prize was a set of Crown Royal whiskey glasses.
Now……. 33 years later……

I am preparing for my first ever solo art exhibition.



Am I ready?  not sure.

Am I nervous?  you bet.

Stay tune for more info as the big day draws near!

There won’t be any whiskey glasses,

maybe some coffee cups and perhaps some wine glasses!!