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.

Spring’s abundance

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.)

Green mulberries.
Green mulberries.
Baby grapes clusters.
Baby grapes.


Weekly photo challenge: Purple I

A little local color among our wild grapes.

TURNING PURPLE — Wild grapes ripen to a deep purple.
RAISINS — Fifteen days after the top photo was taken, drought shows its fingerprints on these grapes. Berries lower in the cluster have shriveled; unripe green berries are beginning to wrinkle before any of the purple pigment appears.

See other purples from this week’s challenge:

The mother page:

Purple passion (flower)

Backed by buzz

Petaled and purple

Purple with purpose

Sky purple

A blur of purple

Up close purple

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.

Grape flowers
Future grapes bask in a long-awaited sunny day.