Saturday, June 30, 2018

Prunus Pennsylvanica

... our first breakfast tat the lake ...

I had to come home from the lake and look for the other names of pin cherries. Connor calls them wild cherries. Now I see that they are called Bird Cherries, Fire Cherries and Prunus Pennsylvanica to go all Latin on the product.

Michael and I found two or three trees of them as we were exploring the beach today, that wonderful place I now know as the wrack zone. Yes, there were pieces of metal washed up and a plastic bag and a bleached but still red sand pail.

And stunningly beautiful driftwood. I kept hiding it behind long logs, as though fearing that someone might coe and take it. I think I will keep my eye open for something to keep my jewellery on, though I had better take measurements before I go down to the beach. I know that I can imagine something as taking far less room than it actually does when I get it back to my place.

We walked along the roadway that crosses the tracks to its very end. There is some wonderful latticed bentwood work there, tied to keep its shape, now detritus washed up from a storm. Michael guess that it was a sundial, but I think it was a little to big for that, being at least 3 feet by 4 feet. We walked by the outhouse, discreetly painted forest green and hidden back in the trees. Michael had to take a look inside.

When I am on the flat space where we used to pitch the 12 person tents that belonged to the Bates (and sleep in them), I could see that all of the work making trails there paid off. We walked across the little brook to the west. Someone has put a 2 by 4 across the water which made passage easy for me. Michael just leaped across the stream. I stopped before crossing to see if there was a place where the water tumbled over the rocks and I could lean down with my cup and taste the clear water. There was.
David Camps Johnson stops by for a visit.
The trail blazers (either David, Glen or Greg) had been with their chain saw. Three tall aspens had been cut down, and a log that had fallen across the path was now sawn in half, or maybe I should say in 3’s for part of it was pushed away so that we could walk through.

Michael and I came out at the old camp created by the hard work of Jeremy and Reid so many years ago. There is a huge log washed up on shore there, one that I could barely lift my leg over. This is the spot where Michael practiced walking along fallen logs, jumping from high beached trees to the sand, and playing who can spit the cherry pit the furthest. I spent a lot of my time saying, careful, you don’t want to break your arm or your leg at the start of the summer when there is so much swimming to be done. And after every fall that winded him, I would say, Is this the time for the trip to the hospital. So far it isn’t.

To keep the game going, Michael would run back in the trees and bring us cherries for the contest. Time passed. The pits seemed to go less and less far. We practiced making cherry earrings. Then the contest turned into, how many pits can you keep in your mouth while still eating yet another pin cherry. As well, the pits had to be spit out into the sand (or water depending on the force with which the pit leaves the mouth), one by one.

On the return walk we came upon Connor and David put a small fishing boat into the water. Landon and Piper were down with them, all life-jacketed up. Two fishing poles were attached the side of the boat. Connor leaped into his seat by the motor and off they went down the bay. We threw more driftwood into the water before going home.



  1. love this. am imagining how many pits i can hold in my mouth

  2. We took another trip down to the place where we found the Prunus Pennsylvannica today. This time with Joan Turnbull, Alice and Betty. I heard Michael telling people that they can eat these but not the clusters of another red berry which I pointed out to him as poisonous, yesterday.

    Michael hates cherries. But he will eat this to get the pits to that we can do the game. That is the best part for me.

    As well, we met Glen and Connor who were securing the blue dock (formerly known as Rogers dock) to a tree, since the wind was coming up. He had a big chain which he has wrapped around a tree and was now shaking it out.

    "What are you doing, Uncle Glen?"

    I am trying to straighten this chain out. That is what my dad tried to do to me. Straighten me out. Do you know what that means?


    It meant smarten me up. Do you know what that means?


    Ha hia. Moments like this at the beach are fun.

    Glen said that people have been marking the beach as their territory, so we are putting some docks up to let them know that we have the right for swimming platforms out there, as well as a lease along the CPR Railway. For some reason that alerted me to garbage on the beach and I began pulling out a broken lawn chair, 3 plastic mattresses to float in the water with, some toys to float babies in, an aerosol can of whipping cream, and some beer cans. I actually love beach clean up. Do it while those who are six and under are seeing how far they can spit cherry pits. That works for me.