Sunday, August 16, 2009

Summer Adventure

Yesterday my daughter and I went out in search of a crabapple tree we had spotted on the wild side of a farmer's fallow field last fall. We've recently put away several jars of elderberry jelly and wild blackberry jelly and we are anxious to get our hands on some crabapples to make our favorite jelly in the whole world.

Last September when we were out in the field, it was full of shoulder high goldenrod. This year the field had been mown:

But we found all sorts of interesting things in and around it anyway. Like this tiny frog with a fallen blossom on his little bottom:
And a red-eyed tortoise:

Blackberries, yum! They were tasty and juicy:

A dragonfly:

And butterflies:

It's unbelievable, but we weren't able to find the crabapple tree again. We were very disappointed, but we decided to go into a certain part of the forest in order to do some exploring.

To reach it, we had the option to blaze a trail through thick, torso-high growth which hadn't been touched by a blade, or to cut into a thick barrier on one side of the forest which consisted of tangled, close-growing, shrubby growth.

This picture shows what we chose - that's me, hunched over, trying to find the best way through woody stalks, and, of course, Strider at my side:

My daughter broke through at one point only to discover a pond blocking our way:

Finally we reached a point where the growth opened up and we were able to make our way into the forest:

Some of the trees there are very old, and some are very tall, like this one:

After wandering around in the forest, we decided that blazing a trail through the tall brush would be a better choice than back-tracking through the thick, woody shrubs:

I can tell you that Strider was happiest in the open forest and in the mown field. He's wearing a bandanna in the picture below. He doesn't usually wear one, but for our adventure we doused a bandanna with Deep Woods Off and tied it around his neck.

We also doused our own clothing with it in hopes of keeping the ticks off, and sprayed Strider's legs and hind quarters with an all natural repellent - I dread any of us getting Lyme disease:

We were all bushed when we finally made it home. And no crabapples, but we know where to find other crabapples. We'll get some before the season is over.


adrienne said...

Ooh, I'm such a baby about ticks...I think my days of tromping through tall grass are over. But Strider looks very smart in his bandana!

aromatic said...

Phew you must have been very worn out!! Strider looked very smart in his bandanna!! Hate ticks so fully agree with all your sensible precautions! Hope you manage to find the crab apples in the end!!
Love Jane xxx

jo©o said...

It was Linda, wasn't it? It's been so long since we 'met', that I am not sure ;-)

That frog picture: PRICELESS.

Tell you what: if you enter that into the Gardening gone Wild photo contest, called "Picture this", you have a great chance of winning this month's session.

Just what the August judge seems to be looking for. I wish I could have found something so apt. And th4e clarity is as good as the subject matter.
Go get them!

Get your skates on, as the entries have to be in before Saturday.

You may even want to crop the froggy bit, showing that lovely marking on its back.

ICQB said...

Hi adrienne!

Our precautions seem to have worked - we've encountered nary a tick on any of our persons since returning. Yay!

ICQB said...

Hi Jane!

Strider did look very handsome in his bandanna - but he didn't care for it much, I think because of the bug spray on it.

At one point he found a trickle of a stream to lay down in and got both the bandanna and himself muddy.

Hugs to Basil!

ICQB said...

Hi Jo!

Lovely to hear from you again! I've been terrible at keeping up with everyone's wonderful blogs this summer - so sorry!!

Thanks for the heads up on the photo contest.

I've been thinking about the comment you left many, many posts ago about what you consider to be the most iconic place in London - just a couple of doors away from the Globe.

I thought it might be the modern art museum, but it's probably not that. I couldn't for the life of me remember what was near the Globe. Believe it or not, when I saw the new Harry Potter movie, there is an aerial view of the Millenium Bridge which also shows the Globe, the museum, etc., and I did spy the buildings just next to the Globe, but before you get to the art museum.

Don't know what they are though - but I thought of you and wondered which one was your iconic place and wondered what it was.

Kim said...

It's such a good idea to take precautions, I was convinced I had lymes disease last month after many tick bites! What do you use? Strider is gorgeous, btw :)

Kim x

ICQB said...

Hi Kim!

I use anything with DEET in it. It's not great for you, but I put it on the clothing I'm wearing and not right on my skin.

Keep aware of yourself if you've had tick bites and come down with any lyme-type symptoms. It's a nasty thing to get and I am constantly amazed that I haven't picked it up over my lifetime of walking around through woods and fields.