Monday, 3 June 2013

Things I saw in the woods today, part 24

One of my favourite authors is Jean Giono whose prose and musings are such poetry and his love of nature, seen by him as a cathedral in which we seek solace but also as a mirror of the cycle of life. Jean Giono writes of the oak that it is impossible to catch the leaves emerging from the tree in the spring - the leaves appear suddenly fully formed to one's great surprise, or so it would seem. The oak is a source of great mystery but I would tend to disagree with Monsieur Giono - I have avidly observed the wild oaks where I live and indeed, have seen the leaves as they make their entrance into the world, VERY slowly. The young oak leaves are edible and a tasty addition to salads.

Red clover is beginning to flower now - perhaps you will recall an earlier post where I wrote that as the summer progresses, flowers of different colours become more prolific. Well, the red clover has finally emerged - the red and pink flowers are the last to grace us with their beauty before summer turns to autumn. The flowers of the red clover can be dried and stored - a delicious infusion is made thereof, the fragrance of which is reminiscent of cucumber.
Red clover
These white berries are in fact unopened hawthorn flowers. The buds seen from a distance look appetising but closer inspection reveals a cunning trompe l'oeil: the 'berries' are in fact tightly wrapped petals which will eventually open into dainty flowers. I cannot think of any white berries that are edible and of course, red berries tend to be poisonous such as those of the yew.
Hawthorn buds
Here's a funny face:

Photos copyright SvD.

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