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Saturday, June 24, 2017





...EDIBLE BERRY (UW Green Bay Herbarium photo))


Saturday, 8:00 AM.  55 degrees F at the ferry dock, 56 on the back porch. Wind WNW, very breezy.  The sky is cloudy with some overcast, the humidity 83%.  The barometer is rising slowly, now at 29.68".  Mixed skies, highs in the 60-s to 70's and chances of rain are predicted for the next ten days.

   Thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus, in the Rose Family, is closely related to the raspberries and blackberries.  The species has an odd geographical distribution: around the Great Lakes and in  the western United States, Alaska and Canada and south to northern South America.  
   Thimbleberry is so called since when the ripe composit fruit is pulled from its stem it is hollow, resembling a sewing thimble.  The shrub is large, spreads by stolons and grows in part shade to full sun in woods and on woods edges, and along roads and railways.  The leaves are lobed and look like sugar maple leaves.  The stems have no spines or prickles, unusual for a Rubus species.
   The species name translates from the Latin as "small flowered," but the flowers are relatively large.  I suspect this misnomer relates to the fact that the shrubs are few flowered. The flowers are pleasantly lemon-scented. The fruit is edible and makes good jams and jellies, but is soft and does not pack and ship well commercially.  Some folks do not like the taste of the fruit, but I think it fine. 
   Thimbleberry is a valuable plant for native landscape restoration and can be obtained from specialty nurseries.  Use it with care, as it can easily take over.  I have recorded only a few bloom dates for this species: 6/19/15; and, 6/27/14.  This year is probably right on time.
   Holywood and the leftist media have gone off the rails with their denigration, and worse, of the President and the Presidency.  Mock assassinations and so-called humorous death threats are no longer funny, and would never have been tolerated during the Obama presidency.  Can you imagine a so-called comedian getting away with depicting the beheading of President Obama? Or his assassination on stage? It is time, particularly after the attempted (and nearly successful) assassination of Republican senators, for it to all cease.
   Such overt calls for harm to the President and others must stop right now, and the way to stop them is for the Secret Service to take it seriously, and start knocking on some doors in the middle of the night.

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