Friday, September 24, 2010

Unidentified Shrub and the Fall Ruckus

 Right outside one of our living room windows are 3 aspen trees underplanted with this ever expanding shrub. Worst placement ever for trees as the closest is maybe 2 feet away from the house.

 The shrub is very happy where it is and when I had fish in the pond, the water and much would drain near it. The aspens and the mystery shrub of course loved the additional watering with nitrate packed sludge.

 I brought a 2 foot cutting off of the shrub into several nurseries to have them identify it. HA.. yeah..they didn't know. I know I should have gone into a local extension office, but I never got around to it.

 In the spring it puts out a lot of pale pink flowers.

Then in the fall the berries mature to a matte deep blue. Heavy producing shrub, every year it never fails to produce a big crop.

 I wish I knew what this was. I do know that the squirrels and assorted birds go crazy for it. It holds on to the berries well into winter and until winter kicks in full force, we have our daily visitors.

 Every other day we have a mob of birds pop in and cover the shrub. So many birds that the shrub moves as if stuck in a gale. The dog always runs up to the window and watches them intently.

 The squirrels come to visit almost everyday and every day they spot the dog.. and the bitch session begins. There is a many year feud between the dog and the squirrels.. which sadly the squirrels have the upperhand. Once the squirrels fill up on berries, they then take off to steal entire heads of sunflowers gone to seed.

 He's going to have a field day.. literally.. on the farm.  I am not what you would call a "dog person" but he is the exception. If every dog was like him.. I would be. He has a special "Ahhh-Rooo" which he only does for us when he wants to let us know he missed us. He can only make that sound when he exhales from a yawn.. so he makes himself yawn. 

 We will have to watch one of my Mom's dogs while at the farm. My dog seems large when you first encounter him.. but next to her neurotic beast.. he looks tiny.  
 I am going to gather a few berries from the mystery shrub and extract the seeds. With any luck, I hope to have some to plant at the farm. 

 It may seem like an odd way to approach things, but I handle problem critters like this.. if possible, I try to plant things they can have away from things I don't want them to have. I'm not talking about offering up an easy buffet (although that is how we kept the raccoons out of our garden. The little panhandlers got to the point over the years that they would hop onto the kitchen balcony and scratch at the door. They'd see us round up the leftovers and run down to the ground for feeding time. Now this isn't advisable, but the neighborhood went from being houses on 2 acres plus per home of mostly forested lots surrounded by fields and forests.. to big lawns where the surrounding fields and forest being developed with McMansions. Who the hell buys a house for a couple million with no yard? I mean you can almost shake hands through the windows with your neighbor!)

 Anyways.. beyond our bubble.. these critters perform more of a function beyond being a "garden pest". Easy to say when you don't have a warren of rabbits  feasting in your garden. We also had red-tailed hawks nesting in our yard.. My Mom refused to have a massive ancient.. and very dead oak removed that the hawks selected one year.. until the babies had flown away.

 I suppose I come from a long line of odd logic. Plant for yourself.. plant to redirect pests and encourage predators. Not sure how well this practice will hold up when poultry is added, but judging from the turkey population.. I am hopeful.


  1. Your berry reminds me of an evergreen huckleberry. There are so very many different kinds of huckleberries, I wonder I wonder if it could be a member of that family.

  2. I was gonna say a hackberry myself which I think maybe local slang for a type of huckleberry anyway.

    Cool dog btw.

    Rabbits btw are spawn of the devil in league with muslim terrorist and all deserve to be exterminated on sight...

    Just sayin

  3. Ty Mr. H and Pioneer.

    I've been trying to narrow it down by keeping track of the flower and fruit too. Inside the fruit are 4 very large seeds, almost like a cherry pit. Even if edible, there is not enough on the fruit to be efficiently utilized.

    There is just enough that right now.. with all of the birds.. Purple Rain.

    Ty Pioneer.. he's a great dog. One of those you wish could live forever.

    My Mom's ancient cat, and the hybrid's need to patrol the property has pretty much taken care of the rabbit situation on the one farm. Our cat is not exactly up to the task. She hunts the garden hose, your feet under blankets and occasionally when she gets the nerve.. a moth.

  4. Interesting, it is definitely not a huckleberry with seeds that size.

  5. I have been searching and searching for the name of that same bush! We have them in our yard and I have been killing myself to figure it out. Did you ever figure it out?