Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lindenborg River Valley in Himmerland

A corner of Lindenborg River Valley
father and son on  canoe tour
Lindenborg Manor
Lindenborg Å (river)
Lindenborg river is a 47 km long river in East Himmerland. It has its source south of Rold skov, which is also  the source of the waters of Simested. Simested river runs south, while Lindenborg river runs north, where it passes Lindenborg manor and runs out into Limfjorden.


Both rivers are good fishing places, but what is especially interesting about Lindenborg river are at least 16 spring-areas in a stretch of about 15 km along the river. Two of these springs are Lille Blåkilde and Blåhøl,  the water-richest springs in North Europe - they both give 150 liter pr.second. The reason for the many  springs is the chalk just below the surface. The rain water seeps down through cracks in the chalk, from where it gradually is being pressured from the chalk above. Upon weak spots like in river brinks is the water pressed out like a spring. Even in the hardest winter has the water a temperature all year of 7-9 degrees Celsius, the plants grow along the springs and the water is clean and drinkable.

chalk in the land
Lindenborg river vally is a part of the designated Natura 2000 area nr. 18 (with Rold skov, Lindenborg river valley and Madum lake), and  Habitat-area dn bird-protection-area,  total 8.748 hectare. 

Lille Blåkilde is an impressive spring, it has three types of springs. They run together into a large brook, which gives 150 liter water pr second. By the help of radiotopic isotopes was measured that the water from the brink fell like rain about 50 years ago.

the river valley at Gravlev
path along the river
flowers on the river brink
Everywhere in this large calcareous area in Himmerland is an important and interesting flora. The orchids love this calcareous soil, and there are many rare orchids like the rare lady-slipper in Rold forest - and on the cliffs and banks along the river is a flora worth a study for an avid botanist. There is also a rich bird-life, and  the clean, fresh water is a fine habitat for a rich, varied macro-invertebrate community. (An invertebrate that is large enough to be seen without the use of a microscope).

Yellow Bedstraw
Yellow bedstraw/ Gul Snerre ( Galium verum) is also named Virgin Mary's bedstraw. In the old days, before the Catholic church had changed the heathen plant names, it was called Freja's bedstraw. Before Christianity was it considered sacred and dedicated to Freja, who was the goddess of love, marriage and home. Therefore was the flowers put in the bed under women giving birth. After Virgin Mary took over the name, people believed that she had plucked the soft flowers for the baby Jesus to put in his crip.
But in daily life was the plant also put among the bedstraw in order get rid of fleas. The house wife hang it in the ceiling of the living room, partly as a decoration, since its yellow colour stays firm like an Eternelle, and partly for its spicy scent. When children had scabies they were given a bath with a decoct of yellow bedstraw. The plant was also used earlier for spicing beer. It contains an enzym, which makes milk run together. The Latin word verum means milk-running herb. The root was used for dyeing linen krap-red, and the flower tops to dye a yellow and olive green.

Hoary plantain
                                                                                                                                                                  The cyclist lady by the bridge told us that a cat had come down to her and her husband in the morning when they passed the brink by the river and placed a  dead mouse in front of her as a gift.


Spiked Speedwell
Spiked Speedwell/Aks Ærenpris (Veronica spicata) grows in Scandinavia and across Middle and South Europe to Asia Minor and East Asia. It grows in dry calcareous soil, often on cliffs, hills, pastures and often along the coast. In Denmark it grows here and there along the coast of Limfjorden and Kattegat and at the island of Bornholm, but it is rare in other parts of Denmark. It is a popular cultivated plant in the garden.

Parsnip/Pastinak (Pastinaca sativa) is  wild in Denmark,where it is common along roads and in meadows.  It is a very old cultural plant which earlier was used largely, but it was later supplanted by carrot and potato.
It has been cultivated for several thousand years in Central- and South Europe and was  an important part of everyday food. In Denmark was parsnip known since the Middle Ages, where it was used in medicine. The parshnip is somewhat similar to Hamburg parsley, but is larger and coarser. The parsnip, which grows wild, is not the same as the well-known parsnip roots we cultivate for food. The wild parsnip has a lesser root, but it is not edible. The parsnip contains a vegetable poison, named psoralen, the same as in Giant Hogweed, but it is not as strong in parsnip. The sap can in combination with sunlight give blisters and wounds of the skin, which remind about burns.

Wild Mignonette
Wild Mignonette/Gul Reseda (Reseda lutea) is a species of fragrant herbaceous plant. Its roots have been used to make a yellow dye called "weld" since the first millenium BC, although the related plant Reseda luteola was more widely used for that purpose. The wild Mignonette grows in dry calcareous soil and is much visited by bees. It is rare to see other insects than honeybees in wild Mignonette, which is rare in other plants.

Sct. John's Wort

Sct. John's Wort/Prikbladet Perikon  (Hypericum perforatum) grows wild everywhere in Denmark. It grows in a dry and poor soil, where it is doing well among grass and other plants. The plant contains substances, which have inhibitory effects on depression. It is valuable a valuable bee-plant. The blooming buds are fine for a pretty and well-tasting snaps. The plant is used in herbal medicine as an adjunct or replacement for Prozac. Use of Sct. John's Wort can make the skin sensitive to sunlight.

The use of  Hypericum is not a proven treatment for depression. If the depression is not treated correctly and enough, then the state of the disease might worsen. Combined with certain  antidepressants hypericum can worsen side-effects like nausea, anxiety, headache and confusion.

The name Sct. John's Wort origins from the Middle Ages, where the tradition was to burn the flowers of the herb on Midnight's Eve (Sct. Johns day = 24 June). The superstition said that itiwas possible to drive away evil demons ( insanity) from the family, if they burnt the flowers of Sct. John's Wort. Later was it known that brandy with Hypericum was good for depressed persons.

Small Burnet
Small Burnet/Salad Burnet/ Blodstillende Bibernelle (Sanguisorba minor) . The Latin sanguis means blood and sorbeo means absorb, referring to the wound-healing and blood-purifying properties of the plant. It was used to heal many diseases in the old days, like the dried root was used against cancer. The Small burnet grows in dry, grassy soil, often on limestone soil. The leaves have a fine taste like cucumber and can be used in salads, soups, drinks etc.  The young leaves are considered interchangeable to mint leaves in drinks. The plant has a respectable shistory, it was called a favorite herb by Francis Bacon and was brought to the New World with the first English colonists.

 photo June 2011 and June 2010: grethe bachmann (please enlarge the small photos)


Joan said...

Thank you Grethe.. I enjoyed my wander through beautiful country , along the rivers.. thank you!

Thyra said...

Hej Joan! Thank you for your interest!

I've just seen your doodle today. It is so life-affirming with the flower and the butterfly - and the fine colours.


Teresa Evangeline said...

What a great river that would be to canoe, and the path along it is very inviting. Thank you for this walk and all the plant info. It's fun to learn about the world around us. Nature offers so much.

Marilyn said...

I have enjoyed visiting your blog Grethe and once again you have shown me what a beautiful part of the world you live in through your photos and words. Thank you.

Also, thank you for the comments you leave on my photos on the Beautiful World blog, of which I am one of many contributors. My own blog is My Magpie Collection at


however I have been taking a break from it the last few months apart from a quick post today.

Thyra said...

Teresa, there were so many plants at that spot and there was a lovely spicy scent in the air. I enjoyed to be there and I'm glad that you can see it's a good place.

Marilyn, thank you for mentioning that you're back on your blog again. I'm glad that you liked my post from Lindenborg.


Jenny Woolf said...

I like to see white chalk in a landscape. IN England there are large designs carved in the grass in some areas. Some of them are very old, some are fairly new. Mostly, they seem to be depictions of white horses.

Amish Stories said...

Greetings from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa.

Thyra said...

Hello Jenny. Yes, I have seen some pictures from England of the white horses in the grass. It's very interesting.

Thank you very much, Richard.

Grethe ´)