The fall programs at church are over and I can now finish the acorn article. I'll have the article tomorrow. Meanwhile, I took a bike ride yesterday and spotted a few odd trees at one of my favorite haunts. It turned out to be strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo also called madrone. Its a native of the eastern Mediterranean all the way to western Ireland. The last years fruit ripens just as the new flowers come out which is in November/December. It was brought to California by the first Spaniards and is related to the Pacific madrone and Texas madrone. The manzanita with its beautiful red limbs, "little apple" in Spanish, is a close relative. In fact, the flowers of manzanita are practically indistinguishable from those of madrone. The fruit are kind of mealy and have a sweetish but bland flavor. They are used in jams and the Portuguese make a strong brandy from them.
These trees are in an area where there are a lot of different escapes along a creek. I have a feeling they are wild. This happens a lot here. I've seen patches of reeds, Arundo donax, growing in the oddest places. I've found wild pomegranate trees as well as citrus trees.
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