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Berries and Ground Cherries

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Autumn is entering my yard.

These are flowering woodbine berries.



Most people have never heard of ground cherries, and they're one of my favorite fruits! Mine are ripening now, and I'm savoring their sweet-tart flavor.

They grow like a tomatillo:

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The papery husk keeps the golden fruit nice and clean - ready to eat right out of the garden:

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Thus ends the botany segment of today's show.

In zoology:

We went to the zoo today for my company picnic. As we were leaving, we stopped to sign the memorial book for Steven Irwin, which will be sent to the Australia Zoo when it is full.

The Crocodile Hunter was an important person in my son's life. A couple of birthdays ago, Steve (in the form of a miniature plastic figure wrestling a croc) graced the top of his cake.

I can still picture my son, four or five years old, studying Steve's technique for snake wrangling, then copying him ... stuffing a black and purple stuffed snake into a pillowcase.

This is the first death my son has really felt. He lost his grandpa when he was a toddler ... no one else close to him. We've been lucky. Steve Irwin may have been a stranger, but he felt like a friend and teacher to my kid.

My son stopped to sign the book, writing, "He was a good man. May he rest in peace. [son's name] (A big fan)."

Sometimes your heart just twists like a snake in a bag.

Comments

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azang
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
What poise and grace your son has, his comment will be cherished by Mr. Irwin's family.
I miss Steve too, so sad.
Angela
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
Thanks, Angela.
lizjonesbooks
Sep. 11th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC)
OOh! Great pictures!! We dont have any of those plants here. I always thought woodbine and greenbrier were the same, but clearly they aren't-- greenbrier isn't nearly so attractive. Great stuff!
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
Thanks - I love my camera.
nydeborah
Sep. 11th, 2006 12:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the photos and your son's message. Nice images.
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 03:56 am (UTC)
Thanks, Deb. I hope your day was okay.
rusalkatrix
Sep. 11th, 2006 12:55 pm (UTC)
Most people have never heard of ground cherries

Um, perhaps because they were brought here by aliens? (The cherries, not the people.)

*looks again*

Nature is so weird.

Lovely pictures, as always. :)
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
*gasp*

Grandma was an alien!?

She used to grow them ... or should I say fed them to my unsuspecting childhood self???
sheela_chari
Sep. 11th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Stunning as always.
(the photos, that is).

I've given up on my garden. Not given up exactly, but it's too untidy to take pictures there anymore.

...My daughter still hadn't discovered Steve Irwin, but my mom and I used to watch his shows and marvel over his bravery. We were both shocked by the news.
We never expected it.
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 03:58 am (UTC)
Just wait ... I have untidy garden photos, too. Whether or not I post them is the question.
queen_of_ocd
Sep. 11th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
Your son's message was simple but beautiful. I'm sad about Steve Irwin's death, too.
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
Thank you, my queen.
susanwrites
Sep. 11th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
Oh....sigh. The pictures were lovely, but your son's words, priceless.
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
Yes. It was yet another moment where I wondered, "Where did he get that?" They do develop their own interior lives, don't they?
jadedmetaphor
Sep. 11th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC)
Lovely pictures!

I'm glad your son got to write something for Mr. Irwin.
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 04:00 am (UTC)
Me, too. I think it helped him feel like he was reaching out to the family.
sruble
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous pictures! Thanks for sharing. My grama used to grow ground cherries. I don't know if I ever ate one, but the papery outside always fascinated me.

Sending hugs to your son!
lkmadigan
Sep. 12th, 2006 04:03 am (UTC)
Thanks for the hugs - I'll make sure he gets them. :-)

My grandma used to grow them, too. I probably like the taste because I associate them with happy childhood memories. I can't seem to find anyone else who likes them.
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