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May 2, 2008 / Bo Mackison

Hiker’s Delights

Jack Sticks Out His Tongue

My first Jack of the year. He was poking out of a mass of wild geranium leaves, the geraniums not in flower yet, and I almost missed him. Jack in the Pulpits are a favorite of mine.

Emerging May Apples

And I found a huge field of May Apples just emerging. They should be in full bloom in less than a week, though what I love most about this plant is its foliage as it unfolds. Like a giant yawn when you have to throw your arms out wide, and stretch, too. A white five-petaled flower will tuck itself under the umbrella to complete the show.

One of my readers, Uphilldowndale from northern England, asked about the fruit. I rather forgot it has that fruit-y word, “apple”, in its moniker. For the record, it does have a soft, yellowy kind of fruit which can be eaten, mostly in marmalades, jams, pies, etc., though I’m not personally recommending it for I’ve never tasted it. Supposedly it is sweet and mildly acidic, though one source called it “peculiar”. Has anyone ever had a bite of a May Apple?

[where: Owen Conservation Park]

14 Comments

  1. Robin / May 2 2008 11:18 am

    Wonderful description of May Apples. Wonderful shots, too. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Jack in the Pulpit. You found a lovely one. πŸ™‚

  2. uphilldowndale / May 2 2008 12:57 pm

    Tell us more, do they have a fruit??

  3. uphilldowndale / May 2 2008 12:58 pm

    And I should have said that I’ve tagged you πŸ™‚

  4. Gandalf / May 2 2008 1:06 pm

    I agree with Robin. Your description of the May Apple is great. You bring a completely different image to my mind than simply a plant emerging from it’s winter hibernation.

    Jacks in the Pulpit are also a fav of mine. I’m jealous you found one already. I haven’t seen one yet. You always seem to capture light and shadow in a way that enhances the interest of the subject. This shot is right in the sweet spot.

  5. Bo / May 2 2008 3:08 pm

    Robin ~ Thanks, we see quite a few every spring, but you’ve got to look pretty close.

    UHDD ~ They do have a fruit – I updated my post with info. And thanks for the tag. I’ll see… πŸ™‚

    gandalf ~ thanks, they do seem to stretch, don’t you think? hope you see one soon.

  6. Anna Surface / May 2 2008 3:50 pm

    I have never seen Jack in the Pulpits or May Apples. What a way cool shot of the May Apples emerging. I’d love to see what they look like in full bloom. What a neat looking plant/flower. You know, those leaves somehow remind me of spinach or tobacco leaves. Huh…. Neat seeing these. I’m impressed. πŸ™‚

  7. montucky / May 2 2008 4:24 pm

    I’m going to really look forward to seeing the May Apples when they bloom. I’m completely unfamiliar with them.

  8. Laurie / May 2 2008 6:00 pm

    Lovely! The plants in the bottom photo remind me of mushrooms. Very interesting.

  9. Preston Surface / May 2 2008 6:56 pm

    The May Apples appear as if ladies leaning with their hair falling forward, and as soon as the stage light hits them and the music starts to play, they will raise their heads and start dancing.

  10. uphilldowndale / May 3 2008 2:58 am

    Thanks for the update, looks like you are now committed to going back to take more photos!!
    The leaves remind me of beach sun parasols, waiting for the start of the season.

  11. mon@rch / May 3 2008 8:40 pm

    These are delights for sure! I love the May Apples shot best!

  12. lady.percy / May 4 2008 6:42 pm

    I love the second picture in that.

  13. teresa / May 4 2008 6:52 pm

    “Like a yawn”; what a perfect description. They are about 10 inches high right now in my Seattle woodland garden. Thank you for your comment!

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