telling the difference

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Two days in a row at the beach means we’ve started swimming regularly here. The weather seems to have finally settled in to a stable spring pattern. After two months of not being able to make up its mind, the air will feel heavenly and energizing for about two weeks, after which the air becomes hot and humid for the rest of the summer and into the beginning of fall.

(At least that’s how it usually goes.)

We continue to discover new plants along the woods. We knew about the blackberries, but next to those bloom a similar looking flower, but a different looking leaf. This one registered as the also edible European dewberry. We started making a list of things we’d like to do this summer, and making blackberry jam and cobblers is on the list. I might try to dry the leaves to have for teas, though that will take more reading to figure out how to do. It’s so much easier to learn when there’s a teacher to teach you.

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The boys are still excited about digging up carrots. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to see their wagon of carrots, yes, but to see their joy and confidence in digging them up and bringing them home. It’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving. We experienced the joy of finding those together, and that experience and joy continues to stay with us.

Recently while visiting my father-in-law’s farm, he took me and the kids out to an abandoned cemetery at the edge of his property. The inside was overgrown with weeds, and I saw what looked like ten feet tall carrots or Queen Anne’s lace towering over the tombstones. I’d totally forgotten that I’d read somewhere that Queen Anne’s lace has a poisonous evil twin, apparently one of the deadliest plants in North America, called Poison Hemlock. When I mentioned the huge growing carrots to the kids, my father-in-law corrected me, and Good Lord, set me right in my mistake.

I remember now, and won’t forget. The Queen Anne’s lace has green hairy stems. Poison Hemlock’s stems aren’t hairy, and have purple blotches. Going back to the teacher thing, I like having someone who is smarter than me. Nobody likes to be wrong, it’s true, but there’s something very comforting about being corrected. It’s one of those ways we keep growing and learning.

2 thoughts on “telling the difference

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