While roaming about the farm this weekend, my granddaughters brought back a grocery sack filled with rocks and leaves and feathers and bird nests and other bits of nature they discovered. I photographed a few of the specimens: polk weed they found growing alongside the barn, (that’s what I first thought it was, now I’m not so sure); a few hickory nut shells that the squirrels left behind; and a sprig of persimmons.
Now I have never tasted a persimmon that didn’t turn my mouth inside out. The high tannin content makes your tongue feel like it’s grown fur. But this one was sweet and squishy–the way they taste after the first frost. It surprising what a bit of cold weather can do for this too often overlooked fruit.
Bonus points if you know what the white snowball-shaped object is that I found in the bag. When I first saw it, I thought it was a stuffed toy that you wind up and watch it waddle across the floor. One touch and I knew I was wrong. It felt cold and wet and almost spongy. It was Lion’s Mane, a very desirable mushroom with the texture of scallops. We cooked them for dinner that night. Supposedly the spiny-looking mushroom has some medicinal properties that makes it good for your nervous system and improves cognitive powers, though I’ve not seen any noticeable improvement yet in mine.
But most exciting was finding the first arrowhead we’ve ever located on the farm. At least, that’s what we thing it is. Then, again, it might just be a rock naturally shaped like an arrowhead.
After the nature walk, there was still a lot of energy to expend and the temperature was just right for a trail ride. Horses love brisk, fall days when they’re not bothered by flies or heat, so we saddled up.
Below, my youngest grandchild, Coco, gets to know the horses with an introductory nose rub. My oldest grandson, Austin, follows the same tradition.
Tomorrow: The culinary outcome from Austin’s new smoker oven.
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