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Prospect events lead the news

Touch-me-not, jewelweed, Impatiens capensis — all names for one of nature’s medicinal and edible plants which grow in bottomland soils, in ditches, and along creeks.  It was not until this year that I noticed the profusion of jewelweed along the banks of our branch of the headwaters of Falling Creek. There does not seem to be a foot of the creek bank that is not inhabited by this orange blossomed herb.

The morning dew deposits tiny jewels (water droplets) on the water-repellent green leaves thus its common name of jewelweed.   

Blooming from early summer to fall, the herb bears orange trumpet-shaped flowers with three petals one of which curls forming a slipper-shaped spur. 

As late summer and early fall approach, you can gently but tightly wrap your hand around the seedpods.  The pods will pop open revealing the edible walnut-flavored seeds. The seeds are so small that they only provide a nibble, but children love catching and eating the touch-me-not seeds.

Native Americans and outdoorsmen have long known the medicinal uses of the jewelweed. If you have been stung by a member of the bee family, bitten by mosquitos, or touched by poison ivy or oak, you can apply the juice of the stems to the affected area to lessen or prevent swelling and allegoric reaction.  Numerous Internet sites give information on how to crush the leaves and stems, to boil in water, and to store the juice in bottles or ice cubes.

Hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to the showy flowers to collect nectar. 

Naturally reseeding with its touch-me-not seed pods, it grows in the moist, shady areas of the low lands, but it also does well as a understory plant in a border garden of trees.  Due to its natural seeding, it can become invasive but can easily be pulled up and disposed of if necessary.

Community Communiqué

The Prospect Volunteer Fire Department’s 55th Annual Harvest Sale has been postponed due to the possibility of heavy rain. The sale has been rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, with the same schedule of events.

The Prospect Historical Society will meet this Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Prospect firehouse.

Everyone is invited to sell or shop in the Bi-Annual Twice Is Nice Children’s Consignment Sale sponsored by the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary.  Items may be dropped off beginning Wednesday evening.  Consignors may shop on Thursday evening, and the general public may shop all day Friday and Saturday morning.  For information call Pat Foster (434) 574-6538, Linda Franklin (434) 574-6579, or Kathy Baldwin (434) 248-9218.

The Prospect Happy Hatters celebrated their anniversary at the Golden Palace Sept. 24. Attending were Hilda Allen, Jean Covington, Betty Meadows, Ann Norton, Margaret Stockton, Betty Sumner, Jeannette Tarlton, and Elsie Wilson.

Friends of Mildred Shanks will be glad to know she is doing pretty well.  She is still limited in mobility and the ability to call others and get calls on a regular basis, however cards are greatly appreciated.  Send communications to Mildred Shanks, Lucy Corr Village, 6800 Lucy Corr Blvd., Chesterfield, VA 23832 , Room 516.

Please keep the following people in your thoughts and prayers:  Carolyn Wood, Bob Card, Martha Whitehead, Kenneth Brisentine, Dorothy Womack, Betty Jean Bolt, Gary Fiscus, and Vicki White.

Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Ethel Walker Saunders.

“Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.” – Carol Bishop Hipps

If you have any news, call Edwina Covington (574-6576).

EDWINA COVINGTON is a retired teacher and columnist from Elam. Her email is ecovington@centurylink.com.