Nettles are often seen with irritation or distaste because they sting – roses of course have sharp thorns! Nettles however are an excellent food source for various insects, especially for caterpillars. Red admiral, peacock, small tortoiseshell and comma caterpillars are all fans of nettles. Young nettles are popular with aphids and therefore with ladybirds too. Nettles can be a key plant in wild life friendly gardens.
Nettles are also good for humans to eat, especially when the leaves are young and tender, and are a good source of vitamins A, C and D as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron.
The world around us is full of curious, beautiful and amazing things. As small children our curiosity and our amazement knew no bounds. Every day would produce novelties- things to see, things to chew or eat, things to grab and hold, things to poke and explore.
As we have grow older we have often lost that sense of wonder. Things that were new have become mundane. In the rush to be busy, small things flop below the radar. Decorum dictates that we shouldn’t prod or lick things and, unless we’re wine tasters, swirling stuff around our mouth and spitting are frowned upon. Stopping suddenly just to look is discouraged – it interrupts the flow of traffic. Daily routines take over.
And our love for the world wains and falters.
The season of creation-tide runs from 1st September till 4th October, the Feast of St Francis. Let’s fall in love again with creation.