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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Bird

Okay, my horticulturalites, what are these berries? Should I eat them? Should Boz?

They put me in mind of grade school. I liked school all right, especially drama, art, reading and French. But in other subjects my mind often wandered and I watched Cedar Waxwings outside the classroom window. There must have been berries like these growing there. Otherwise why would berries in the Arroyo Seco make me think of Cedar Waxwings and grade school in Illinois?

The holidays tend to make me nostalgic. Maybe that's all it is.

I looked up Cedar Waxwings online. I thought I remembered them snatching those red berries from snowy branches. But that's unlikely. Cedar Waxwings are rarely spotted in northern Illinois in winter, except perhaps in memory.

20 comments:

USelaine said...

It looks like Coffeeberry/Buckthorn. Apparently, if you need a laxative, you're all set to, uh, go.

JT said...

or, it could be the Holly Leaved Redberry -- same Buckthorn family: Rhamnus crocea) different species. The leaves should be serrated, like a holly bush.

Cafe Observer said...

Oh, yeah I know: they are berry interesting berries.

Still, before feeding your dog, you had better taste test them 1st for him!

Katie said...

I don't know what kind of berries these are, I just know how much I love this photo! Very festive. The bridge in the background is a great and I get a sense of where you are.

Knoxville Girl said...

Don't know what kind of berries they are, but I like how you positioned them in front of that brown so they stand out in the photo. I'll bet Boz would rather have some nice doggie kibble with gravy.
Hope you and your loved ones have a great holiday!

JT said...

I think I have the right answer for you: Toyon, also appropriately called the Christmas Berry http://www.wildscaping.com/plants/plantprofiles/Heteromeles_Toyon.htm

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

I'm in agreement with JT ...Toyon, Beautiful!

Bernie K. said...

Mmmmmm … gravy.

Petrea said...

I think that was C.O.'s line, Bernie.

Come to think of it, knowing dogs, maybe Elaine's line was C.O.'s line.

Did I say that out loud?

Clifford Beshers said...

At college in Minnesota, I remember the waxwings getting drunk on rotten berries that looked like this. Not winter, but late fall.

I was just back this summer for reunion and a bio professor had t-shirts saying ``Die Buckthorn Die!'' and had people pulling it out of the arboretum. I gather it's invasive.

marley said...

I'm pretty sure they are what we call Cotoneaster. There are lots of different varieties. I would avoid eating them to be safe!

JM said...

I have no idea what they are, but the composition looks great having the bridge(?) in the background.

altadenahiker said...

These berries were served over our y...

Nevermind. Sounds like Bernie might be lost; check him for tags or chip.

Rose said...

Petrea
Here is my advice regarding eating unknow berries:
Don't be daft!
Merry Christmas!
x

lynn said...

You enjoyed all the same subjects at school that I did Petrea! No wonder we both ending up acting (though it's a long time since I did). How similar we are.

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

I think you should make earrings out of them and dance around under the bridge.

Ms M said...

I like Miss Havisham's idea; sounds like fun!

Bernie K. said...

… gravy 'n' giblets …

Petrea said...

Cliff, I read somewhere that the birds can get drunk on these berries. Not all birds have that capacity and not all berries do either, but these are apparently the ideal combination!

Colorado Street Bridge, JM.

AH, at first I thought Bernie was lost. But he's probably thinking what you were thinking. Those berries...yak...yak gravy...yak giblets...

Christina said...

It is definitely Toyon, a native Southern California plant and just gorgeous around this time of year. Native Americans used the berries as a food source--they're edible, they just may not taste very good when raw.