diospyros virginiana

A Neenering We Will Go, Part I: Greeting Old Friends

Now that is is definitely fall and the temperatures have cooled a portion of a smidgen of a little bit, the human female is more likely to shift herself out of her chair and go for a walk. Today, she and Sigyn have decided to go see what’s what along the Neener Path by the Big, Ugly Apartments. We haven’t been down that way in a while, so I’m a bit curious myself to see if anything interesting is going on.

Ah. I think this will be a morning of seeing things we’ve seen before in other years. Sigyn calls it “Saying Hello to Old Friends.” I call it “It’s October and There’s Ragweed, What Did You Expect?”

Look at all that pollen! I’ll be sure to give this stem a good flick as I dismount, just to make sure the human female can appreciate its devotion to anemophily.

Some of the composites are better at keeping their sneezables to themselves. Bitterweed, for instance, contents itself with flowering eleven months of the year and making cows that eat it give bitter milk.

Horseweed just likes to get tall and poofy and seed itself into people’s yards.

Late-flowering thoroughwort (a ridiculous name!) is rather similar visually, though the plants have larger leaves and the flowers are white enough and dense enough so that it’s almost ornamental.

I’ve still made sure it drops tons of seeds in the human female’s yard every year, though.

Mistflower is more well-behaved. All it does is make patches of blue in shady spots.

Sigyn wants to pat it and cuddle it because it looks like “fuzzy fireworks”. Botanical fact: The fuzzy, threadlike bits are the styles in the tiny flowers, not the petals. There. Don’t you feel smarter?

The climbing hempvine is related and has flowers that are made the same way.

It likes wet spots and thinks the ditch along the Neener Path is a good place to be.

Peppervine is also abundant here. Sigyn likes the berries when they are unripe and pinkish.

I prefer them when they get all plump and inky black.

I still say we should sneak some into the human female’s breakfast. Sigyn says we should be nice and just dangle.

Hmm, what else is here? Ah, yes. Plenty of woolly croton. Another fuzzy thing Sigyn likes to cuddle.

I’m sensing a sunggle-pattern here. But since I am also one of the things she likes to snuggle, I am not complaining!

Well, huh. I take back what I said–not everything blooming today is something we’ve seen along this path before. This one is new:

The human female says this is something called “shoreline seapurslane”. Sigyn says the flowers look like “little stars.” I say the silly thing is about one hundred and thirty miles north of fitting its common name…

So here we are a the turn-around part of our walk, though we can stop and look at more things on the way back and–

Great Frigga’s Hairpins, Sigyn! Stop right there!!

Somewhere, there is a female persimmon tree with ripe fruits, and you nearly stepped in the big pile of seedy raccoon poop!

The human female is getting that look in her eye. If the trees in the woods have ripe fruit, the trees closer to home might have ripe, delicious fruit too. I suspect our next walk is going to be in our very own neighborhood…

(to be continued)

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We Found Treasure on a Walk!

The weather has definitely improved. It is still warmer than optimum for a Frost Giant, but we are no longer flirting with triple digits, and the mornings are cool enough that our daily perambulations are no longer a penance.

The shift in the seasons can bring new things into prominence in the local flora. I wonder what we’ll find today?

We are down at one edge of the neighborhood. Not much interesting so far. This is–

Wait.

What tree is that?

It looks as if it is growing a whole crop of burnt orange superballs!

Ah. The human female says that this is one of the locally-native persimmon trees. We have run into this plant in the woods before. There are quite a few in the neighborhood, but I don’t recall any with fruit. I think I would have notice something like this before, don’t you, Sigyn?

Sigyn, stop! No, it’s not that I care whether you steal fruit from other people’s trees. Pfft. As far as I’m concerned, you could take all you want. No, it’s that while the fruits on the tree may look ripe and delicious, remember what the human female said—they’re not edible until after a frost or unless they’ve ripened enough to fall from the tree on their own. Otherwise, they’re very astringent and eating one is like trying to eat dry felt.

The ground under these two trees is littered with windfalls just lying there unappreciated. Is the human female going to…? She is! She is! She has gathered up a double handful. Ehehehehe! I always suspected she had a little larceny in her!

Poke, poke, poke. They’re so…soft… and squishy.

Like barely-contained pudding… What do they look like inside?

Orange, all the way through, and gooey. Sigyn’s going to taste one.

(nom nom nom) She says they taste like, “a combination of apricot, pumpkin, and mango.” In other words, they taste orange. (nibble, nibble…) They’re very sweet–much like dates in that regard. Not bad. Not bad at all. No wonder all the wildlife love them!

There are five big, flat seeds in each fruit. The human female, having long desired a tree or two in her yard, purposes, after eating the fruits, to wash the seeds and plant them.

Here’s where I come in. Persimmon trees are either male or female and, of course, only the females bear fruit. In the wild, male trees significantly outnumber the females. What do you suppose her chances are, if all of these seeds come up, that one of the trees will be female?

Let me rephrase that. If I am involved, what do you suppose her chances are of getting a female tree?

Or will she continue to being reduced to stealing the neighbors’ fruit?

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A Walk a Long Time Coming, Part II: The Fallout

No good walk goes unpunished.  No, wait.  That’s not right, is it?  Perhaps it is sort-of-right, because ever since Sigyn returned home from our walk in the woods the other day she doesn’t want to stop “doing nature.”  What is it you want today, my love?

Ah.

TMN-LCP-leafpile

What Sigyn wants is to roll around in crunchy fallen leaves on the back patio.  Yes, it’s fun, but it can also be a little itchy.

And what’s that you have there?  I do not recognize those.

TMN-LCP-persimmonseeds

Persimmon seeds?  From the local, deliciously edible wild persimmon?  Excellent!  It would be nice to plant them and see if we can get a female tree to grow.  Where did you come by them?

You picked them up on our walk at the park?  I did not see them on the ground.   All I saw was the big pile of fur-filled coyote scat (those creatures will eat anything) and…

Oh, sweetie, tell me you didn’t…

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