Oak Sapling at the Edge of a Swamp

Nature Walks

On another walk, earlier in fall before all of the leaves had turned and fallen, I spotted this young oak. This is a particular breed of oak tree that grows in swamps. Supposedly, its roots are shallow and so the tree is more likely to fall over in a storm. I think that the leaves on this sapling are most interesting shapes, as they have a slight rippled texture to them that I believe was from the harsh summer we experienced.

Wild American Persimmon Harvest

Cooking and Household, Nature Walks

Along one of the places I walk, there are some wild American persimmon trees. These persimmons are different than the ones you see at the grocery store, which are Japanese persimmons, generally. American persimmons are smaller, about the size of a ping pong ball, and a much more muted orange color, like the color of pumpkin butter. T The alligator bark on the very tall but somewhat thin trees is unmistakable. Persimmons grow way up high, so you’ll have to pick yours off the ground.

They are ripe when they look overripe- when they are so soft and squishy that their skin wrinkles slightly and splits or squishes easily when touched. You’ll think that you’ve gotten to them too late, but that’s exactly when a persimmon has reached its perfection. They have a texture like homemade jam or over-evaporated fruit butter- not solid and very thick without exactly being a liquid. There are about 4-6 seeds in each fruit, and they are large and easy to pick out while eating.

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There are many things that a persimmon can be made into, however, I’ve only eaten them raw so far. I took a very small harvest this year, dodging drunk wasps who also feast on the (slightly fermented) fruits. These persimmons were delicious.

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2016 Oil Painting of Fern/Vines

Drawing

Here is a past work I made with the same oil paint set as my galaxy landscape. This one started out as a fern, but them turned into some type of vine. It was a couple years ago that I made this one, back in 2016. Oil painting is definitely enjoyable to me, but it does take a while, requires special handling of the materials used to create the art, and the piece in progress and finished needs a place where it can sit quietly and dry for very long amounts of time. Oil painting is definitely more of an occasional hobby for me, but I still greatly enjoy it.

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The Sycamore Tree

Nature Walks

Here is a sycamore tree from one of my walks. Sycamore wood isn’t great for firewood, nor carving, for it is weak, however, it is a faster-growing shade tree and therefore a popular landscaping choice in some areas. This can be a problem as it frequently sheds its weak branches in storms! As unhelpful as it may be for practical purposes, I still am fascinated by the patterns you find on sycamore bark. It’s almost like camo print, and I’m sure that a camo print based off this bark would be quite effective. The tree produces a ball seed pod almost like a sweet gum tree, but the way you tell the difference is that sweet gum pods are painfully spiky whereas sycamore pods are more soft, and you can crush a sycamore pod easily in one hand.