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A Walk Through the Woods

A Walk Through the Woods A Walk Through the Woods

Ahh nuts.

This has been a good year for hickory nuts. I picked up a bucket of them, and tomorrow I'll glean some more. That is more hickory nuts that I am prone to use, but in the past I've made “hickory nut brownies” for church homecoming.

I think we have the butternut hickory tree here. The hull splits into quarters and the nut is inside. The nut tastes something like its cousin the pecan.

To crack a hickory nut, all you need is a brick and a hammer.

There is another use for the hickory tree. I believe that a good hickory limb has been the greatest motivator in the history of education.

Sadly, not any more. Kids don't know what they're missing.

After walking through a field on Saturday, I noticed my socks were spotted with beggar lice. That is the name by which they are known here, but they have other names.

The tiny seeds have fuzz with hooks on them, and as you pass the plants, the seeds attach to your pants or socks for a ride to a place where they can drop off and do what seeds do.

And why would you want to spend time picking beggar lice from your pants? They're tasty, for one, and when you're sitting in a deer stand with nothing else to do any mild distraction is welcome.

The seeds are so small it doesn't seem they would have much food value, but they have a nutty taste, but first you have to get the seed out of the hull.

The seed is smaller than small, green, and tastes something like a peanut.

A pants leg full of beggar lice could keep you entertained all morning.

Neighbors posted a picture of their bucket of muscadines. They were picked at an old house place that is known to former neighbors. Folks laid an attached vine from the mother vine on the bare ground and placed a large rock on top of it.

Within a few weeks the vine sprouts roots, and you have a duplicate of the mother vine. I have to warn you it isn't productive to raise the rock for inspections. Just take my word for it that the vine will sprout roots if it has moisture and contact with the ground.

Come winter you should be able to detach the vine and take it home.

I have not made muscadine jelly in many seasons, but in the last batch I extracted the juice for jelly and then the hulls for jam. It was all good.

These days if I feel a need for homemade jelly, I bring home a bottle of concord grape juice from the store and let people believe whatever they want about it.

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