Cattails - My go-to plant area at the lake when I am looking for Red Winged Blackbirds.
Not expecting to find anything out of the ordinary when on the search for the birds; however, coming across cattail down in clumps at the edge of the lake did catch my eye.
I already knew that the plant, as a whole, is very useful and versatile. In doing some further research to find what I could on the down from the flowers; it became evident that early settlers very quickly learned to utilized every part of this plant. It is edible, had medicinal uses and could be used in making floor coverings, food vessels, clothing and preserving food.
It is interesting that the down of the cattail provided stuffing for beds and diapers. Coverlets were made with the down and placed over mattresses that babies slept on because the filling (down) did not allow moisture to flow through. It was used for fire starter and mixed with available ingredients to make a cement like substance.
It is no wonder homesteads could be found near marshes and ponds. The water source was valuable and so was the plant life.
This is Day 2 of a photo and story challenge from Charli Mills. Today, I nominate fellow writer, Shane, to take up the challenge if he is so obliged to participate.