Newly leafing May Apples, and I sure have lots of them. Part of my land is a Kentucky – designated wetland. That’s the perfect environment for the well-storied May Apple.
Other names: Umbrella Plant, Duck Foot, American Mandrake, Wild Jalap, Racoon Berry, Hog Apple and Indian Apple.
Lest the “American Mandrake” scare you, like, don’t eat the plant or unripe fruit. The May Apple is not a real mandrake, but chowing down a plant might well do you in.
As a relevant aside, the real mandrake is a member of the Solanacae family (as is the Deadly Nightshade!). People used to think tomatoes (from that family) were poisonous. Potatoes are from that family too, don’t eat the green skin or the sprouts – same for eggplants. Tobacco to peppers to petunias, it’s a big family! I mention these simply as an example of how you can eat poisonous plants and fruit if you know what you’re doing.
So, like eating the correct part of the potato, eat only the fully ripe, yellow fruit. That is if you can beat the squirrels to it some time from late May through July. This website has pretty good information on it:
The rain went on its way and the sun came out. I’d been working all weekend moving books from upstairs down, up and down, up and down, about 25 at a time. Come late Sunday afternoon, I was SO ready for a break, and sitting on my rump is not for me. I stepped out on the front porch and was dazzled by the slanting rays of sunshine; it made the forest appear golden and spotlit the colors. Here are some of radiant photographs, I hope they come though the multiple electromagnetic steps and satellite bounces well.
The early fruit trees are blooming, we’ll see if Sunday night’s freeze harmed the Intrepid Peach, the Moonglow Pear and the rest .
I walked the gravel road from one property line to the other. The Wild Branch is still high and the road is still a mess. I did clear out the ditches a bit to assist in drainage. The wood roses were so beautiful, I wish the picture revealed the amazing hues better. They aren’t actual roses, but the blooms are very reminiscent of the old-fashioned wild roses. I have some of those, to bloom later though.
We had severe storm/tornado watches around the cabin in the last few days, which made me think of the thousands of wind-twisted and hard-weathered trees around here. Heck, let’s just make this an Odd Tree edition! All of these charmers are in my woods, and the pictures are my own from last September. Enjoy!
I heard we’re getting at least 5 inches of snow before morning, oh yip-yop-yippee! Out with the shovel!
That blue paisley rayon I got last week is not a floor-length, long sleeved dress with a full skirt. Ma wore it to church Sunday. It fits her, she likes it, good enough for me! The thick blue fleece became a very cozy nightgown; she likes that too.
I got through the new book about Otto and Socks, draft 2. Now I’m not sure about the title…I called it Outpost 1 at first since that in the common thread of the story. Then I changed it to One Valve Away because that’s all there is between life and death at the beginning and again at the end of the story. I have Outpost 1 on my timeline but edited the One Valve Away version last weekend. Titus gives ET the advice to make the references accessible. He referred to her writing Outpost 1, but the same applies to my situation. Outpost 1? One Valve Away? Which sounds like two young folks caught up in a dangerous mechanical situation out in space, all because of the fella’s Mama’s hit series – Outpost 1?
Being short of time, I’ll finish this off with random pictures. Have Fun!
On the long drive home to the cabin Friday evening, the trees looked more and more bare the nearer I got to the cabin. My area must have endured sudden gusts or could have been on the edge of a windy storm while I worked in exile here in the city; something made all the leaves at home drop while the trees in town still carry their colors.
This unfairness on the part of Mother Nature made me want to post a few more pictures of the foliage around the cabin when it displayed the best. This year was a great one for brilliance! Of course there were a dozen times I wished I’d have gone out earlier or later or farther…that didn’t happen so this is what I ended up with, all on my own land.
On that drive to the cabin, Ma also noted the declining tree coverage. She asked, “Isn’t there a poem about God making a tree?”
Yep, Ma, there is a famous one that I know this much of:
I get a newsletter from Chelsea Green, a homestead and resilient farmer kind of publisher. I like adding nuts into my whole wheat bread and gosh, they’re expensive. I tried planting English walnuts a decade ago and they would still be maturing if they’d lived. I am not that fond of the common black walnuts around here though I do use them. I’m not generally one of those instant gratification types, however three years for a filbert, AKA hazelnut, to mature is a persuasive argument for them.
Alas, the State of Kentucky apparently has some pernicious anti-filbert disease rampant such that nobody grows them here. Ha! Not until an outfit called Badgersett hybridized some resistant ones. They have a research station where they have many versions of filbert depending on what you want, geared toward the commercial growers.
I got six in the mail. Their customer service is slow and frustrating but the little seedlings eventually arrived with each in its own cozy tube (hence they call them ‘tublings’) and I planted them according to instructions, taking all the precautions against squirrels I could. You see, these seedlings still have their little nut attached and would seem to present a great temptation to the fluff-tailed rodents.
One positively (negatively?) dried up in a blink, prompting me to dedicate myself as Aquarius the Water Bearer (actually I’m under Cancer the Crab). Two more succumbed during August. One seemed to be hanging in there last Friday, but this Monday it was a goner. ONE SURVIVOR! Isn’t this tiny fella a true beauty? This tender darling deserves an extra dollop of attention.
I purchased a couple Heartnut trees from Stark Bros in April and planted them bare roots, right away. I used big fiber pots and made sure they got ample water and sun. I wrote back to the company several weeks ago and asked why they had not leafed out. All they did was sprout a sucker from the grafted base. No reply.
I wrote a complaint about the silence, saying I’d sent pictures and the receipt, what more would they want. The Customer Service lady wrote back in apology. She said the Stark server crashed and all the messages recently received were gone. I believe her. Better, she recommended I prune the top third of each tree off to wake the sleepy trees up. Clipper in hand, lop and lop.
Alas, here it is August with no improvement. The suckers from below the graft are alive, but not the grafted part I needed. So they are dead, but partly alive. Zombies! Don’t get too close! Time to complain again!
Oh, in the top picture it may appear the sticks have foliage. That’s raspberries ambling around them.