I have been interested in native edible plants ever since I came across the book “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” by Euell Gibbons. This would have been around the year 1995 which means I would have been about eleven years old at the time. Two of the plants that I recall from that book are the Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and the Pawpaw (Asimina triloba).
You could say this was all because of my mother, who took me to various libraries when I was a child and so I was able to explore a world far beyond anywhere i could get to physically. This was a time before the Internet became a ubiquitous part of everyday life and folks actually read books. Literal books in which you actually have to literally turn the page to get to the next thought. It was a tactile thing. As a result from a very early age I loved to read and it was one of my favorite things to do. Those books in turn motivated me to explore the outdoors near my home and over years I have learned so much from that. The curious child that grew into the curious adult. I have been able to learn things that the vast majority of my peers just don’t and it’s given me an appreciation for the natural world that again sadly, most people I come in contact with just don’t have so for that.
In fact, it still is although now I find myself reading from my laptop or iPad screen than an actual book. I am always amazed at how much things change but yet they stay the same at the same time.
What a wonderful life!!!
So anyway, last week I decided to visit the National Arboretum of Washington DC. This was a place I loved to come to years ago when I moved to N.E. DC. I would spend hours there sometimes with friends and sometimes by myself. I recall walking down the street to Heart Pond and looking at all the beautiful Koi that was in the water. I also remember seeing a Northern Water Snake. It was in one of the few tributaries of the Anacostia to survive to modern times called Hickey Run. I promise it wasn’t a romantic walk that ended with a kiss by the way it was just me enjoying a nice long walk…..
All by myself!!!
Anyway I came across a truly magnificent Persimmon tree (diospyros virginianum). I could easily recognize it from its rather knobby bark. Unfortunately it seemed to be leaning like the tower of Pisa which I hope doesn’t spell a quick demise for it.
That would be quite sad 😦
What I saw next you’ll just have to wait and see, but it was quite surprising.