Hi, I’m new and improved and getting even better ….. at photography, that is. Last night was my first lesson in “Basic Digital Camera”. I’m taking a short course offered by Peggy deWitt, an awarding winning photographer, well-known in the Picton area. She gently lead me into a new world of discovery. Up until last night I was just a “point-and-shoot” kind of gal. No more. I now can rotate the mode dial and select all sorts of options. Ask me about flash settings, ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I have a lot more to learn and the quality of my pictures might take a dip before they get better, but please be patient while I practice, experiment and learn.
This morning with camera in hand, I headed out to capture nature’s bounty. I walked over to my neighbour’s property. Gary has the best stuff in the category of unusual things harvesting.
This is a picture of Gary’s wonderful old butternut tree. Look at those majestic low limbs reaching out. This is a fabulous tree.
Unfortunately 90% of Ontario’s butternut trees have a fungal disease or canker. There is no known cure. We must appreciate these old beauties while they are still standing.
This tree produced an abundance of fruit this year. Gary gathers the sticky oval fruits up and puts them into a cement mixer for several hours. (no kidding)
After rolling around the fleshy covering is worn off and the edible nut is left.
This is a black walnut tree and a very large black walnut.
Since moving here in May, I have learned about the different types of chestnut trees. For instance, most people in Toronto are familar with the Horse Chestnut. These nuts are inedible for humans.
My neighbour grows nut trees for consumption. His chestnuts are a hybrid mix of American Chestnut and Chinese Chestnut. Their large spiney fruits look like sea urchins. These nuts are the type that get roasted and are very edible.
This is a hazel nut
Tepin peppers. Warning: very hot!
This is the fruit of the strange tomatillos. It is similar in size and texture to a tomato and used in Latin American preserves. They grow with a paper-like husk around them.
I grew these ground cherries in my garden. They are similar to a cherry tomato but with a strange kind of pineapple-like taste. Like the tomatillos they too have a husk that turns brown at harvest. People add sugar and make pies and jams out of ground cherries.
It was a strange year. The extreme draught caused some plants to drop their blossoms early, or not flower at all, while other plants thrived. Can you imagine what life would be like if we had to survive on nuts, ground cherries, tomatillos and tipens alone?