Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Mystery ~ Solved

The dogs and I take a nature hike most every day. For me (and 2 of the three dogs), it’s supposed to be a walk for health and weight loss, but who am I kidding?

My Pack.

IMG_8602

I always get sidetracked by an empty eggshell (what kind of little birdie was that?) or …

Look at the pretty flower! (one of the few wildflowers during drought)...

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or…

Squirrel! (this normally distracts my canine pack)
squirrel

or some interesting blueberry-ish looking fruit lying on the ground. What?!?! We’re in a drought, for Pete’s Sake.

ripe

I took my phone pic of the mystery tree (which bore the ripened fruit above) and posted it to facebook to see if anyone could identify it for me.
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The answers poured in – from PawPaw (I wish!) to Damson Plum to some kind of Damson Berry.

I decided to delve further and I sent the phone picture to Missouri Conservation Ombudsman. He was perplexed by this phone pic also. So Mr. W and I trekked back to the spot and took some better pictures for the Ombudsman. Notice how tiny the fruit is in Mr. W’s hand. Sadly, that fact alone would rule out Paw Paws! Well, and of course, Paw Paws are not normally blueberry colored…

BlackHaw

Mr. W and I had taken our little Missouri Tree Field Guide with us and tentatively identified the tree as a Nannyberry. However, Mr. Conservation Ombudsman has officially identified it as a…

wait for it…

Black Haw.

Per MDC site:  Decades ago, when more Americans led rural lives and walked more, the fruits were nibbled on by many. The root bark has been used medicinally. Ecosystem connections: Many species of birds eat the berries, including the cardinal, cedar waxwing, robin, ruffed grouse and wild turkey. Mammals that relish the berries include deer, rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, skunks and mice. Deer and beaver eat the twigs, bark and leaves. Many animals use this shrub for cover.

The fruit tastes somewhat like raisins, but there will be no Black Haw pies here. Saving these little morsels for our wildlife neighbors. They’ll surely need them this year.

Thank you, Tim, Missouri Department of Conservation Ombudsman, for your help!

Find ways to Explore and Enjoy in your neck of the woods. You never know what you might find!

We’re off to the Missouri State Fair this weekend. Hope to share some lovely long-eared and other photos with you soon!

sig3

17 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

well, your distractions proved a good learning experience for you and for us! :) and i love your pack!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Learned something new today, thank you. I have never heard of a Paw Paw, does it resemble a blueberry? Can you make a Paw Paw pie or jam? The weather hear in Maine has been wet and humid, but soon it will be fair season and I can't wait! Love your walking buddies, thanks for taking us along. Greetings from Maine, Julie.

Lynda said...

You sound like me in the sense I get sidetracked, too. It seems to be a trait of those of us who live life to the fullest!
Thanks for the plant education.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Your walk sounds wonderful, so many neat things to see. I really need to get out more, for more reason than one!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

on FB recently someone had a photo of 3 surprised dogs and the caption read something like, "What do you mean we're adopted?!"
How funny!

Deanna said...

Hope you had a good time at the Missouri State Fair. Did you say hi to my son and his family? The weather was perfect!


I get sidetracked too. I don't believe I've ever heard of a Black Haw before so you edjumacated me today!

McVal said...

I am SO jealous!!! If I even take a moment to walk around outside, I'm struck by the amount of work that has to be done and I end up mowing...

Blondee said...

I've never heard of those! How neat to discover something new! :)

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

You had a good week to go to the fair! Loved your nature walk. I'm like you and get distracted by all the neat things to look at. It was fun to learn about the Black Haw.
Enjoy these cooler days!

Jenny said...

I admire your determination in finding an answer!

I'm always super curious, too!

I generally call the County Extension agent. They always seem happy to get a call...I guess there's not much flora and fauna hunting in the deserts of Arizona...ha!

~from my front porch in the mountains~ said...

I love discovering stuff! Neat post, Tammy! Give all the critters a kiss from moi :)
xo, misha

Thistle Cove Farm said...

hey you...are you still walking?!

~donna sue said...

I, too learned something new and will look more carefully for a Black Haw tree. Thank you for sharing.
~donna sue groves
PS: So pleased you are enyoing Parron's & my book - Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement.

Missouri Gal said...

I try to walk, once a day or more, and I lollygag along as well. No power walks for me. I have only seen one Pawpaw tree in my life, their leaves are really large. And I will have to look for black haw trees on my land. Thanks for all the info on them! Very interesting. Hope you enjoyed the fair.

Catherine said...

I have never heard of that plant.love your dogs.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

What a blessing to find something like that on your property! Perhaps you won't be eating it this year, but maybe you'll have a wet year that will produce enough for both you and the animals!

Cheryl said...

Wow three pups now where have I been! Cool berries, glad you left them for the wildlife to eat! Great photos.

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