Red Huckleberry

A wonderful place to live, this!  It’s berry picking season, and the varieties numerous!

My little harvest.

Red huckleberries aren’t for everyone, being tart, and hard to reach.  I spent an hour or two recently gathering some.  You can see how tiny they are, and every berry I gathered is in that small bowl.  Crushed them, mixed a bit of organic sugar in, and served it warm on ice cream.  Wow!  What a punch of flavor!

Seems that the spiders and moths are more active and visible in spring and fall.  It’s not fall yet, but it’s coming, as the nights are cooler and the fog and mist are back in the mornings.

An unusual visitor!

This little moth resembles a bit of redwood bark!  Clever camouflage and astounding what Mother Nature can do with even the tiniest of creatures.  But wait!  What of this?

Why wait?

Every insect, creature, plant seems so perfectly formed! Beautiful symmetry!

Ordinary?

 The ordinary, extraordinary. This reminds me of a kaleidoscope, sans bright colors.

Another moth seeking protection.

 Symmetry, beauty, camouflage, fleeting moments, life.

BIG dragonfly.

During the summer, if the sun comes out in the afternoon, dragonflies circle over the horses, feasting on what I can’t see. Camera in hand, this generous, colorful winged creature, posed on my daughter’s shorts for a photo shoot.

neSpider sense!

Busy eating a bumblebee, Spider resembles the flower it preys from.  The Himalayan blackberry flowers with white and pink tones and stamens very similar to the color of the stripe that this beauty sports along her sides! This bee became a fast feast.

I’m particularly fond of plants that contain courmarins.  My Lady’s Bedstraw, though not abundant, one of my favorite.  When I find a patch, it’s gathering time. I pick a respectful amount and leave the rest to seed, for next year. After it dries, I keep it by my bedside, and put it to my nose every evening before sleep.

Sweet Scented Bedstraw (Galium triflorum)

The Galium triflorum shown above, growing on the redwood carpet and Oregon Sorrel.  This variety of Bedstraw, native, releases sweet smelling coumarins when it’s bruised or dried.

Ditidaht Indians used it to make a hair rinse.  They believed it made the hair thick and lustrous. Will I believe the same?

  The dried flowers were used as perfume. The flowers are so tiny, I wonder how many hours were spent gathering them…

Just behind my house, on the way to gather Bedstraw.

On the way back, just a hundred feet to the back yard, I couldn’t help but see the fruit of the Hooker’s Fairybells.

Hooker’s or Smith’s Fairybells fruits.

Most Indian tribes considered the fruits poisonous and very few ate them. For no obvious reason, Fairybells were associated them with ghosts or snakes.  The leaf shape highly effective with pointed ‘drip tips’ which allows the rain and mist to fall from the tips, precisely.

Next spring, I’ll be watching for Viola blooms here.  I can’t tell now, which variety they’ll be!

Violet, growing on redwood forest floor.

The fairies put the small twigs in front of their opening.  (bottom left)   Is this where the ghosts live?

Our friends in the forest.

 Native banana slugs – haven’t seen many lately.  Perhaps there’s little competition here under the redwoods from the visible, invasive slugs in my back yard.

Fireweed seeds

 The fireweed beginning to set seed, I’m patiently waiting to harvest.  Pondering that, I see the tiniest caterpillar in the world.  Perhaps only in the world around me.

Look at me! I’m only a quarter of an inch long!

This little creature moving across a Rosa Rugosa leaf.  I have fifty shrubs planted, and one leaf with a bright spot, caught my attention.  The caterpillar didn’t appreciate being on my finger, so back she went.

I hope you enjoyed being here with me.  In perspective, a tiny dot on the face of earth.  And I’m loving it.

Postscript – If you have further interest in coumarins, please click on the link below.  There are hazards for livestock, in this regard.

Coumarins