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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Across the Border

Paw paw
Paw paw
Yesterday I showed you the plants I found just across our property line. Let me add a scary story to that.  The whole property was slated for timbering last year.  The timbering had even begun. For two days I moped and cried as the tractors moved in.  Luckily, they started near the gas line an hadn't progressed very far when it was discovered that the logger had no valid license or something like that. This year? So - far - so - good.
Now, lets step back onto the home plot, our piece of land which has been routinely pillaged. Most the hill tops around here were clear in the early 1900's.  What wasn't grazing land was planted in orchards. Around that time, something happened to the fruit market and the orchards and/or their owners fell into disrepair.  When I moved here thirty-two years ago there were still five or six trees on the top of our hill. Now there is one, probably just a child of those early orchards.
So, would any of those more sensitive plants have found a comfortable home in which to prosper? Come with me and we'll see . . . This looks promising.
right away I found some immature Jack-in-the-pulpits. Hooray!
My experience tells me that this is one of the first "deep woods" plants to grow. I suppose it can handle more sun than some of the others. Oh look! here is one with a "jack." Do you see what is growing beside it?
That leaf with its deeply cut lobes is bloodroot! Its seed pod is full of maturing seeds which will soon be carried away by ants who will eat the fat from around the seed then throw it in the ant garbage pile where it will, hopefully, take root and grow.
This fungus is pretty neat too.
Here is a close up, though it gets a little fuzzy.
This is great fun!  We hardly have to move and we see all kinds of stuff.  Look at that bank over there speckled white with violets.
And there to the right . . . that's an Oxalis, Wood sorrel.
Delicate pale pink flowers flare outward.
It doesn't all look the same, does it?  As we push on through the tangle of branches we see these Wood sorrel plants . . .
Is it a mutation or something different in the soil that makes those distinctive red lines on the leaves? Or could it just be a different variety.  Do you know? 
This next photo shows my favorite find today! 
Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) growing right amidst Jack-in-the-pulpits and bloodroot! 
Our day is good - and we have a ways to go before we get back to my garden so don't leave me yet.


rebecca said...

Your fungus looks like coral mushrooms, which, if they are what I think they are, are edible - and quite tasty raw, actually. I used to pick them to nibble on while walking in the woods in Ohio. Wood Sorrel leaves are also edible and have a sour taste. The kids at camp referred to them as "sour grass," for some reason. Sorry if you knew that already, but this was a yummy post!

Beyond My Garden said...

Rebecca, my kids and I ate "sour grass" regularly as the bright green clover-like plant with yellow flowers from our yard. I have eaten Wood sorrel and it tastes the same. That is interesting about the fungus, coral mushrooms I would like to try it but am a bit scared without you or another expert being right there to be sure I'm eating the right stuff. I might bring some back to the house to try with a witness to tell the hospital what it was. Thanks for the info.

RedPat said...

That was a lovely tour of the forest. This city girl quite enjoyed it!

JSK said...

I'm a little envious. Our Spring flowers are 'done' and we're starting to see the Summer flowers.
I'm always excited to see photos Paw Paw blooms. I found my first Paw Paw trees in the wild last weekend; they have sets fruit. I marked the spot; I'm going to be back next Spring for photos of the blooms.

Simone said...

Your tour reminds me of how many little treasures there are everywhere we look!! Nature is truly amazing!!!