Green and Growing Things

Who knows what THIS is?

Who knows what THIS is?

April 25 – Just for fun on one of our walks through the woods and along the pasture trails, I decided that I would try to take note of the interesting bushes and trees and little items growing lower down by the ground. One thing we have noticed through the years is that some parts of our trail are covered with light green moss, rather than just a typical path through the woods. We don’t know why that is, but there must be some reason! In one section of the trail around the pond there’s a very big cover of white and fuzzy pussy’s-toes. I never feel right about walking through the cover, but move off the trail until we have passed that section.

Cut canes from the wild rose bushes

Cut canes from the wild rose bushes

So many rose bushes along the way, the ones that have nice white flowers and many, many big thorns! Some years I have had time to cut them down, at least right along the side of the trail. More than once I have had a few battles with these thorny plants as I have tried to get the clippers way down to where they grow out of the ground. If I weren’t in such a hurry, I would clip off the section partway down, and toss it out of my way while I finish the job. It’s no wonder I have red marks left by my encounter with those bushes.

150425_Dogwood

Pink dogwoods (not serviceberries!)

In the spring, service berries trees with their lovely white flowers are all along in the woods at the edge of the trail. The tree has characteristics that make it attractive all year long. The flowers later have purple berries that attract birds early in the summer. Later you can harvest the berries to make jams and jellies and pies. In the fall the bright green or bluish green leaves turn beautiful shades of red and even in the winter it is good to see the trees’ silvery bark.

Wild gooseberry bushes are now growing well, too, and it’s easy to see them all through the woods. Right near the woodsy path are several patches of wild black raspberries. There aren’t enough to harvest, but it’s fun to find several handfuls at a time and enjoy their tasty sweetness. Several years ago I came upon a really big patch of them behind some osage orange (called hedge apple out here) trees and spent time picking them for the several weeks that they bore really big berries. I did the wrong thing then! Because of the many scratches I received while picking them, I decided to clear out the area the next spring before I got stuck with the thorns as I moved around the patch. How much cleaner and neater that patch looked when I had finished cutting out all the extra stuff that made no claim to being raspberries! I especially enjoyed cutting off the long green brier vines with their myriad of thorns, knowing how much easier it would be to harvest those scrumptious berries, and even make a pie or two! Wrong move on my part. That patch has never come back to normal, so I don’t even bother to get off the path any more to find a few berries.

Violets and dandelions

Violets and dandelions

In many parts of the path we find lovely deep purple or light blue violets, and sometimes white ones. They are so pretty and delicate. Sometimes on the trails that are not in the woods, a few dandelions have joined with the violets to make a lovely bouquet. The tiny star violets add their own miniature charm.

In a number of spots along the trails, mostly those in the woods, we always see the May apples with their umbrellas all facing up. Just checked several groups a few days ago and found that they didn’t yet have their pretty white flower, but it won’t be long. I have read that some folks made medicinal drinks from the flower after it dries. But since much of the plant is poisonous, I think I’ll not taste the flower or any other part of that lovely plant. Just enjoy its being there to add interest and beauty to the woods as I travel the trail.

As we walk the mile along the trail, we see so many familiar trees and bushes, flowers and plants and enjoy checking on the progress of our favorites. God is a lover of the beautiful, and His hand is seen in all of the lovely sights along the path. – CHRIS

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