Tiny Troubles

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Heal-all With Flea Beetle” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

How small is small? When you’re less than 1/8 of an inch long planet earth is a vast gigantic jungle. Even the tiny pharaoh ant dwarfs the little guy in tonight’s feature image. To give you the scale the Heal-all flower spike that he’s on top of is only about an inch long so he’s far smaller than 1/8 of an inch. When I spotted the little guy I was reminded of a poem I heard in grade school.

“If you missed me it’s not my fault.

I’m only the size of a grain of salt.”

I have to wonder if that because he’s so small if he can even perceive me as another life form and not some celestrial event like an eclipse. The tiny little bug is a flea beetle. But big trouble comes in small packages.

Experienced gardeners will know what the irregular shaped holes in the leaves of their crops mean. One flea beetle exploring a wildflower is kinda cute but 1000 of them one your favorite salad vegetables can be maddening. Especially if you have strong feelings about chemical pesticides on your food. Encouraging predators into your garden is always a good thing. Braconid Wasps and Tachinid Flies larvae both feed on flea beetles but I found it hard to believe they’d be able to host on one this small. However, a quick internet search revealed a tiny wasp even smaller than the beetle in tonight’s feature image. Plants like yarrow and Queen Anne’s Lace are generally considered to be weeds but they do attract parasitic wasps that are beneficial in the fight against garden pests like the flea beetle. Plants like mint seem to repell flea beetles as well as other pests while attracting pollenators

The tiny world is a dangerous place but aside from its shiny armor the flea beetle has an active defense. Their secret weapon is Maulik’s Organ. An organic spring built into the hind legs that is cocked and when released sends the flea beetle sailing through the air as if fired out of a cannon!

Some flea beetles are actually beneficial insects themselves. Depending on the species. They seem to be selective in their food choices and the plant they host on. Some will eat the weeds right out of your garden and never touch the plants you want to grow.

The little flea beetle in tonight’s feature image eventually decided that it didn’t like my presence and with a flick of it’s hind legs performed a disappearing act to rival any on stage. One second it was there and the next it was gone.

Image Titled “Heal-all Spike 71020”.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer

Thank you again for your support of my page!

Forage Friday #66 Heal-all

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Heal-all 71020a”. Typically, Forage Friday images are taken for the sole purpose of illustrations. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Please remember that Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and not an endorsement of treatment. All of the information is presented as trivia only.

Setting up on a shelf in my grandfather’s study was an antique medicine bottle. It only held a few ounces and the bottle was half full of liquid. I’m certain that the liquid inside was once green but it had turned brown with age just like the label. The Victorian style font was faded but still legible. Bold letters at the top were formed into an arch and read “Heal-all”. The writing at the bottom in a complimentary arch read “Good For Man Or Beast”. The cork stopper was broken off more or less even with the mouth of the bottle. The exact composition of the contents was unknown and my grandfather figured it was from the turn of the 20th century. But this was my introduction to the herb known as Heal-all or Self-heal.

While brushing up on the plant for tonight’s post more than one source stated that Heal-all is one of the most studied traditional medicinal herbs in the world. And that many of claims made by herbalists have been proven to be true. In the middle ages most of the doctors were actually religious leaders. Somewhere along the way it was decided that God placed clues about how to use the plant within the plant’s anatomy. This was known as The Doctrine of Signatures.

Image Titled “Heal-all 71020b” showing details of the flowers.

Because the flowers of Heal-all resemble an open mouth with the tongue out it was decided that it was best used for sore throat and conditions of the mouth. It turns out that they got lucky. Modern science has confirmed that Heal-all has some antibiotic and antiviralcompounds. According to the internet Heal-all was successful in controlling herpes viruses in mice and was even researched as part of a treatment for HIV. The plant has been used to as a wash for wounds and sores as well as pink eye. The flowers are said to have strong enough antioxidant properties to protect from harmful effects of UV radiation. Not as a lotion that’s spread over the skin but as an internal preventive. Peterson’s Field Guide says that Heal-all contains ursolic acid which is antitumor and diuretic. The list of traditional uses is actually pretty long. It’s said to be effective in treating fevers and that makes sense because it is in the mint family. The stem is square just like deadnettle and ground ivy. However, it doesn’t have the a strong smell or taste like spearmint or peppermint.

In fact the flavor of Heal-all is so mild that it’s used in salads and as a pot herb similar to the way one would use spinach. Mints are notoriously easy to propagate. So much so that some people would consider it an invasive weed. But in truth it’s a source of vitamins A, C and K. Like most plants it’s rich in various flavonoids and the Wikipedia entry specifically lists Rutin. Now I had to look Rutin up and it turns out to be a combination of Quercetin and Rutinose. Both compounds seemed to have a few benefits but were hard for the body to absorb. The information about what Rutin actually is and if it is actually one of the reasons why Heal-all has earned it’s reputation was complex enough for me to say that I’ll need to do a lot of reading before I understand enough to make a judgement.

But I have learned enough to say that Heal-all is definitely worth giving some space on the edge of the forest. Perhaps even it’s own little garden box that’s tucked away in some partial shade where it can just do its thing and be awesome.

Image Titled “Heal-all 71020b2” Shows the plant growing in the shade of the mountain.

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤