10 March 2008

Red Maids

There is something about Red Maids that makes me whoop and holler. Leaving the market yesterday I belted out a scream, "Turn a U-ie!" 
"Whad-ya-see?" He asked me.
"Red Maids, for sure. Bunches of them," I exclaimed. 
You see, they don't last long, and a lot of years they don't even show. There has to be the right amount of moisture and sunshine. So he turned around and pulled over to the side. I jumped out of the truck and ran up the hill. When I had a positive ID, I turned around with thumbs up, and ran back to the truck for my camera. 
All this is very exciting for us, not just because it's a pretty flower but also for our work.
Red Maid seeds were collected by the Native Indians as a food source, and one of the things that I do for a living is examine plant matter under a microscope to find signature plant stones in soil. If the Red Maids have such a particular plant stone, I can then look at different soils to determine if they ever had Red Maids growing in them. In areas where there is a known site with Red Maid plant stones, one might have another piece of evidence that indians were proto-agriculturists. 
Pretty nifty!


  1. I had no idea you were such a scientist!
    They are lovely.
    They ate the seeds? Like in bread and stuff or just ate them? Interesting.

  2. Hi Alicia,

    They did cook the seeds into bread, but primarily they would crush them into a mush and roll the mush into little balls to pop'em in their mouths. Protein snacks!


Thanks for sharing!