Saturday, June 1, 2013

oodles of drupes


The first berry crops of the year are ripening. The mockingbirds (a.k.a. foolish for ripe fruit) must be going crazy, as are robins, bluebirds and cedar waxwings. And the ones that manage to fall to the ground are gobbled by opossums, raccoons, etc. etc. 

Mulberries—from the Old English mōrberie—are ripe and the few trees I’ve seen are loaded with berries this year, oodles of fruit, although, not a true berry, the fruits are really clusters of luscious drupes, each containing a small seed.

There are several red mulberry trees growing at Forks of the River WMA and birds are not the only two-legged chordate feasting on the blackberry-like morsels. I’ve seen a few people, including my birding companion, eating them as well. Did I say they were luscious? They'll also stain your hands bright red, but you can lick the juice off your fingers. It's okay to be a kid, no one is watching.

Mulberry trees do not produce such huge crops every year; it would be too taxing. Generally they only oodle up every two or three springs. But this apparently is a big year, so go out and find a handful before the mockingbirds eat them all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I try not to do gross things in front of Kelly, but that rule goes out the window whenever I encounter a mulberry tree. Even as a kid I would always eat them like this: grab the berry, bite off its stem, spit out the stem, and then consume the deliciousness.