Wondering about wild grapes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I’m Wondering, is Fall Coming?

Well, it is about that time of year when the leaves start to turn colors and fall off the trees. Around here, that color is usually brown with a tint of yellow or red, but mostly brown. A few of the Oaks are dropping their leaves now, but some are still green. My property has mostly oaks, pine, sweet gum, and black tupelo. None of these trees give much color and the ones that do, don’t change color at the same time. I do have a couple of small maples, but they are hidden in the back corner of the property.

The leaves are completely down around the middle of December. That is, the leaves that are going to come down. The Live Oak trees keep their leaves year round along with a lot of shrubs and bushes.

About the only thing that gives off bright fall colors are the trash trees and bushes. One in particular was imported from China as an ornamental tree, but the birds scattered the seeds and it is everywhere now. It is also very fast growing once it gets established. There is one next to my driveway that I cut off at the ground every year or two and it grow back. This year it only grew about six feet, but some years I swear that it grows faster than that. The picture below is a sample of some of the leaves off this type of tree, the Chinese Tallow. Notice that it can be red, orange, yellow, or green all on the same clump of small trees.

Go with me as I reminisce a bit about back when I was a youngen in the early 1950’s and it was the fall of the year in western Pennsylvania. There was always something about the Fall of the year that got my blood flowing. The smells of the leaves and the woods and of course all the goodies in the picnic basket.

A picnic basket was packed, a folding table was put in the car trunk, my Mom, Dad, and I would pile into the old car and go pick up my grandparents. We would ride up into the hills and mountains and be in awe of all the beauty of autumn. The hills looked like a patchwork quilt with every color you could think of.

Around lunch time we would find a place to pull over and we would have the finest tasting meal you could ever want. Being out in the woods, surrounded by all that beauty, with the smells and sights, and being with the people that you really loved; a person couldn’t ask for a better feast. There was always a variety of food and lots of it, but I would always start out with my favorite – a peanut-butter and pickle sandwich. I preferred candied dill, but any sweet pickle would do. No accounting for taste, right?

Speaking of my strange tastes, my Dad introduced me to the culinary art of putting horseradish sauce on chocolate cake. Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? It was good. Something about the sweet of cake and the sour of the vinegar in the sauce and the tang of the horseradish that just livens it up. Not bad. You know, I haven’t had that combination in years. I have had horseradish, but no chocolate cake.

You all have a happy Thanksgiving. . .


  1. Dizzy, is that tree the same as the Chinese Tallow? Leaves look the same, We had them in Houston and you right, can't git of them.

    And one of those odd food combination, try just s touch of plain ole yellow mustard on a marshmallow.
    Knew a lady in Alpine that made up a mix of pretzels, peanut butter and Hot Chile flakes into a gooey ball. Pretty good eating.

  2. Thanks Ben, for catching that. I don't know where my mind is some times. I changed it to Tallow. I knew better, just wasn't thinking. I am good at not thinking, just ask my wife.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving DD to you and your family.

    Enjoyed your story of going on a picnic and looking at the changing of the leaves, brought back a lot of memories even though I was not fortunate enough to have had my grandparents along.

  4. MsBelinda, Glad you liked the picnic story. I have pictures of some of the trips, will have to find them and scan them. Of course way back then they were black and white, so the fall colors would not show.

  5. This time of year is always good about bringing some of the old memories to life!

  6. Howdy Jim, At my age, the old memories are sharper than what I did yesterday (grin). You can probabely guess, since you are almost my age.

  7. The "old days" always seem better and were less hectic than they are now. Today we have to get our lists together for "Black Friday", which actually started before Thanksgiving this year. I miss the old times when you could relax and enjoy a holiday.

  8. Gypsy, I try to remember the good old days, it makes me feel better. In my case, they were really GOOD old days.