Witch-hazel and folklore

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Witch-Hazle 10521a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

The January sun burns cold in the open sky as the big blue truck takes me to my familiar haunt on Salmon Run Road. It’s so close to the highway but teaming will wildlife. In the distance a woodpecker laughs knowing that he’s once again escaped my lens. But just barely for I did manage to catch him distracted for a moment.

The woodpecker was so busy that he didn’t notice me until I got out of the truck.

But as soon as I opened the door of the truck he took to the wind and disappeared into the branches.

Even though it’s January the bright yellow witch-hazle is still blooming strong. In fact I think that they’re in better shape now than they were a few weeks ago.

As I approach the tiny clusters of frilly golden bloom I noticed the forked branches. Now a normal person might look at those forks and think of a slingshot. But I think about dowsing rods. In the 90s I had the opportunity to attend a gathering of the American Dowsing Association where I learned that witch-hazel was one of the preferred woods used for finding water, oil and minerals. There is a trick to how to hold the stick. You point the stick to ground and hold it by the fork with your thumbs pointing to the sky. Rotate the wrists inward until the tip of the stick comes up to a 45 degree angle to the sky and when you’re over the target the stick twists in your hands to point out the water just like a compass pointing north. It’s not just an Appalachian tradition. Variations of this is used worldwide. But does it work? Well I was skeptical but as soon I was over the target that stick twisted. I tightened my grip in an effort to stop the rod. But it just kept turning downward. I was convinced. But sometime later I realized that we never actually drilled to see if the stick was right. While I’m open to the possibility that there could be some trick of physics that just hasn’t been explained yet it’s going to remain a mystery. Life needs a little unknown element to remain interesting.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

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