The plentiful spring and summer rains were good for wild fruit here on our Ouachita ridge top. While the clusters on vines nearer the house were reduced to raisins by a stretch of 100-degree days, the ones in the woods survived just fine. The birds, raccoons and coyotes will eat well. At least one of the persimmons will wind up being plucked and its seed split for our annual winter forecast.
Even if spring was a little late coming to the mountain, the trees and vines have made up for lost time. The first grape clusters are everywhere and the mulberry tree’s offerings are looking abundant so far. It’ll be a race to see who gets there first — the birds or us! (The birds usually win. This is their territory.)
A little local color among our wild grapes.
See other purples from this week’s challenge:
Purple passion (flower)
Purple with purpose
Follow the purple thread
Finding the positive in a negative
The possum grapes are preparing for another year’s crop. The flowers are out and ready to make baby grapes. Let’s hope the pollinators return with a week of dry weather.
These babies, an instar of some stinkbug, show wild zebra striping as they cling to the underside of a grape leaf next to the egg casings from which they emerged. They’re very gregarious youth.