Rubus trivialis

Loki’s Mostly-Accurate Vine Primer

While the humans are finishing up with their photographs and questionable nomenclature, I’ve decided to review what I learned about the local vines.  You will see that I know quite as much as the human female.  Probably more.  For each vine, I will provide a handy mnemonic jingle.

Sigyn, don’t touch that!   I know the new growth is shiny and red,

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but this is Poison Ivy.  Some people can be immune, but it’s best not to push one’s luck.  Leaves of three, let it be!  Frost Giants are immune, so I’ll just pick a bit to put in the human female’s next lunchtime salad.  (She’s always complaining that her packed lunches at work are boring.  I’m just trying to help.)

This plant, greenbriar, is scarcely less pleasant to deal with.  Sigyn and I have run into it several times before.

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Look at those prickles!  It is the botanical equivalent of barbed wire!  Smilax vine makes you whine!  It can make some very dense, flesh-shredding tangles and has left its mark on every field botanist in the South.  (Do not ask to see the human female’s scars.  Some things are better left to the imagination. )

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This plant looks like greenbriar, but it isn’t  prickly.  I’ve heard it called snailseed, but I can’t remember why.  I really never listen very closely when the human female talks.  Snailseed does no mean deed.

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Oops, back to prickly things.  This is our local blackberry or dewberry.  It has both prickles …

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And little red glandular hairs.

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Dewberry, dewberry, make me a pie.  Beware of the prickles, it WILL make you cry!

Are you keeping score?  That’s one poisonous plant, two prickly plants, and one not-prickly plant rather cryptically named for a mollusc.

Our last vine of the day is Creepy Virginia.  It has leaves sort of like poison ivy and sort of like dewberry.  It climbs like poison ivy, but belongs to the grape family.  No prickles.

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Five leaflets, harmless, up trees it will climb./ For words like “Virginia” there isn’t a rhyme.

Hey, there’s nothing to this poetry stuff!  Bet I can do a limerick.

A mighty Frost Giant named Loki/  Taught vines while the humans were pokey./  She won’t have a hunch/ P.I.’s in her lunch/ My mischief is naughty and joke-y.

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A May Walk, Part II: Blossoms and Berries

We are ambling today toward the pond a few streets over.  There are a lot of things blooming, so our progress, if you can call it that, is very, very s  l  o  w.  Sigyn usually likes to leave the flowers where they are, but today there are so many “cute” ones that she can’t help herself and is gathering a bouquet.

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Sigyn, I think it might be bigger than you are.

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Definitely bigger than you are.  Do you need some help carrying it?  Or shall I magic it back home and into a vase for you?  Done!  Let’s see what else there is.

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The farkleberry is LATE in flowering this year.  This should be an April thing.  Rats!  This means the farkleberries will be late, too.

The dewberries are a bit late as well.  No, Sigyn!  Don’t go crawling and picking the red ones to eat!

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Norns’ nighties!  I have to tell her every year.  It’s the BLACK ones you want!  BLACK is ripe!

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There you go.

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Six or seven good ones and we can make a pie as big as you!

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