Let’s Take A Hike In The Woods!

Pearl Harris

This nice cool fall weather makes me want to get out and hike in the woods. But the last time I did that I found out I was allergic to something. So, I haven’t done that – but it isn’t because I don’t think about it and wish I could. It reminds me when I was a kid and my Dad used to take my sister and me out on Sundays and teach us about the trees and other things in the woods. I think about all the wonderful wild things that we could eat. He taught us which were poison and the ones that were edible. I remember we would eat mulberries, muscadines, chinquapins, hickory nuts, black walnuts, may haws, and something called “fox grapes”. Oh yeah, huckleberries and blackberries, too. I am wondering if those things are still growing in our woods or whether they have been destroyed during timber harvesting. A friend told me that there were no chinquapins anymore, but I have a friend who still has a tree or two around his house. He brought me some last year and I remember we used to take them to school and play “bully gull”. We would put some in our hand and ask a friend “bully gull – how many”. If they guessed the right amount they would get ours, but if they missed, we got theirs. They are pretty tasty. I’ve never roasted any, but I’ll bet they would be good.

There was a bush called “French Mulberry” that I haven’t seen one around in years. They were a sort of reddish purple little berries that grew in clusters on a stem. They were not edible, but we would cut a small limb and “whip” each other on the legs. It resembled “blood” on our legs. Weird kids, huh?

Sometimes I go over to the old Harris place and walk around where the old house place used to be, but I don’t go down in the woods. It seems that vines and briers are more plentiful than they used to be. I am hoping the leaves will turn into pretty fall colors, but it has been so dry, I doubt if we have a pretty fall. In a few weeks we will know. God did give us  a beautiful and wonderful place to spend a lot of time enjoying, so we should thank Him and take care of this beautiful world. So, if you are lucky enough to get out and hike in the woods look around you and learn about what God has put here for us and all His creatures to enjoy.

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