October 25, 2020

Bittersweet along the creek

Almost at the top of the mountain above the manor is a spring known locally as Joshua Spring. Twenty years ago, I could go to the spring and bring home a gallon of pure water. Then some idiot who likely still doesn't realize just how stupid they are dumped trash at the entrance to the spring. The State barricaded the lane to the spring and that was that for most folks who went there for pure water. 

We're luckier than some. Joshua Spring puts out enough water to form a creek that comes down the mountain to join with the creek running through the family property. I've occasionally stepped down into the Joshua Spring creek for a drink of that special water. I've also entertained ideas of creating a splashing spot for Deuce but that hasn't happened yet. Maybe soon. 

Bittersweet bushes and vines grow in abundance on the far side of the little creek. I don't know much about the plant except that the lovely red and orange berries are poisonous if eaten. Lots of autumn flower arrangements and wreaths contain bittersweet, but handling the dried berries is pretty harmless. 

On a recent walk, we noted the abundance of bittersweet berries this year. Our weather this summer was reminiscent of the summers when we were younger and we are aware of the sensitivity of plants to the weather. We think it's because the airplanes weren't flying as much due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I'm sure the experts would argue that, but there it is. I believe it, but then again, I dislike airplanes, especially the ones that fly over my corner of the world and drop pollution on my trees. 

It's been many years since a bittersweet wreath has graced my front door. My mother made the wreath I had, but time and sun damage eventually claimed it. Perhaps after the leaves have dropped I'll be brave and cross the creek, climb the rocky bank, and harvest just enough berries to make a new wreath. It will last for many, many years, and be a connection to my mother who got her berries from the banks of Joshua Creek. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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