Sunday, October 07, 2007

Wild Flowers

Back when I lived on the east coast I was fascinated with wild flowers. I’d go for a daily bike ride and seek out forgotten lots and meadows to try to find flowers and plant life I had never seen before. I was going to write a book about my finds but I never did get around to it.

One flower I always looked for was the trout lily. It was in the wild flower books, but I just never happened upon one in the wild. I was always amazed at what I would find and in the strangest places. If top soil had been removed for a development, within a couple weeks wild flowers would pop up.

One of the best finds while prowling these forgotten lots was wild strawberries. These strawbs were tiny like the size of a pea, but their flavor was very intense. It was almost like a strawberry concentrate. They were so small that one could pick for an hour and only fill a half pint container.

Also I was the only one I ever saw who picked blackberries which were always ready to pick on June 21, the first day of summer. Here in Oregon our berries are still in flower at that time.

My interest in suburban nature was always strong, and I was happy to move out here to enjoy the rural nature. So get out there and pick those pearly ever-lasts and asters that adorn the local roadsides right now. This is it for local blooms until next Spring.


Blogger Jaggy said...

The little strawberries are probably Italian strawberries. They're rare, if not impossible, to find in Oregon (I've tried!). And they make amazing gelatto.

9:08 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I hear they grow wild on the dunes here as well. I've seen the plants but never any berries.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

When K-Herb and I were wee rugrats, MANY years ago, our friends lived across from a field that was next to the beach. Field was covered in those little strawberries, and as you noted, they were tiny. However, being kids and impervious to the physical pains we are today, we would literally spend an hour at a stretch combing over that field just to get several bites full of the super ripe little things. My mom's house sits atop part of that field now and oddly, there seem to be no berries in the vicinity anymore. Vines are there, but no fruit. Of course I have yet to see any bees over there, maybe that's part of the reason.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Guy, got blackberries, raspberries, wild strawberries, and rhubarb all growing inna back of the backyard. We get some, but the kids usually beat us to them. We let them roam freely here & pick everything except SWMBO's flower beds & my veggies. The deer, skunks, and moose do enough of that. The bee problem here has really affected the wild blueberry crops.

10:56 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

It could very well be a lack of pollinators. In that case, if there aren't a lot of bumble bees to do the work you could buy some tubes of mason bees. Though they are short lived they are excellent pollinators, especially when the temperature is still too cold for honey bees to fly.

5:42 AM  

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