Walking in the Woods

Serviceberries bloom like earthborne clouds now.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is one of the first berries to ripen, in mid June, because it is one of the first to bloom. Distantly related to apples and roses, the Serviceberry trees look like puffy white clouds as you drive down the road in early May. I have several here on the Farm, and I think I may spread some more out in the hedgerows because they are pretty and do have a sweet berry that if I can beat the birds to it, is quite good.

Wild strawberries may be the sweetest fruit in the world.

The tiny blossoms of the wild strawberry spangle the pasture like stars, heralding the fruit that will ripen in the first week of June, and which is probably the best flavor I harvest here at Stonycroft. The fruit will be about the size of the end of my pinkie finger, and if it is too dry, I may not get any.

Partridge berries ripen in spring, not summer.

Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) is one of those neat little fruits that develops from not one flower but two. They ripen in early May from flowers that set the previous fall. Unfortunately, although they are pretty, they don’t taste like much and have a spongy texture.

Red Trillium

One of the earliest spring wildflowers. They aren’t edible, and as a matter of fact I never pick them, as they are relatively rare.

Young beech leaves are so soft, and neatly pleated.

Goldthread loves the deepest shade.

Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) is named for the bright yellow, threadlike roots. The Native Americans used them for medicine. I haven’t tried that, I just love the tiny blossoms that appear to float over the forest floor, their stems are so thin.

The bright yellow roots give this plant its name.

Jack-in-the-pulpit is such a fun oddity of a flower.

Later in the season “Jack” will become a cluster of bright red berries, but Arisaema triphyllum is not at all edible. The earthy flowers are easy to miss, but a treat to look at when you do find them.

A rare patch of the red trilliums.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grandma
    May 11, 2011 @ 13:32:22

    Cedar, you are such a naturalist! I envy your talents, and it’s good to live where there’s such a variety of wild flora and fauna for you to enjoy. (Even if you do get stung by a bee occasionally.)

    Reply

    • sanborntonfarm
      May 12, 2011 @ 17:22:25

      Grandma, you’re the one that started me on all this! I do like the variety here in NH, it seems like I am always finding some new plants and fruits to learn about and try.

      Reply

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