By: Blonde Two
To read this blog title so soon after Blonde One’s “Raindrops on Roses” post, you might think that the Two Blondes have been singing secret “Sound of Music” duets in our tent after lights out. We haven’t but will henceforth consider it as a future event. I have to confess to singing solo renditions of “Edelweiss” on my way down mountains (only downhill) but mostly because I thought that it might encourage some out to see me. For personal reasons, I have been on an Edelweiss hunt. The song makes me a bit teary as my Grandfather used to sing it (rather loudly) and one of my young New Zealand cousins (his great grandson) sang it in as pure a voice as you can imagine as we lowered Grandy into his grave.
The alpine flowers are really lovely (even the dandelions) and it is astounding that they can flourish (along with the cows) at such high altitudes. I saw one patch of Edelweiss during a rather arduous uphill trek, I marked the spot in my head and promised myself that I would take a picture on the way back down. Sadly, on my way back down, the Edelweiss appeared to have moved and no photo was taken. Either I am a rubbish spot marker, cows like to eat Edelweiss or they are nomadic plants. I will continue my hunt, they must be around somewhere as our host Frau put some in a vase for our arrival.Here are a few Blonde Edelweiss facts for you:
1. Edel = noble and weiss = white. It has also been called “Chatzen-Talpen” = cat’s paws and the latin name “Leontopodium Alpinum” means Lion’s paw.
2. It is not the whitest flower on the mountain (I spotted some yellow bits) and has hairs (blonde ones of course) to help it to survive the cold and dryness at it’s favourite altitudes of 1800-3000 metres.
3. It has anti-inflammatory properties (good for Blonde sunburn) but is protected in several countries (I promise not to pick mine when I find it). It is at risk from over picking and from pollution.
4. The Gebirgsjager (mountain infantry) wear an Edelweiss shaped pin on the left hand side of their caps.
5. The Edelweiss was said to have properties as a love charm and young men (not to mention blondes) have died climbing mountains in order to pick one for their lady lovers.