Every day, I try and take a walk around this property, some part of it, new or old, it doesn't matter. One cannot become acquainted with one's environment all at once. Today I tramped northeast along Hemlock Creek to the property line, and encountered four separate springs emerging from the hillside, two of substantial volume in the aftermath of yesterday's rain.
I was already familiar with one, as it adjoins the planned driveway section on the hill, and we already have made plans to accommodate its periodically heavy flows. It is a steady flow now. Farther along a smaller spring arises, perhaps 50 meters northeast of the first, then another after 25 meters, a third 25 meters farther in, and still a third another 25 meters.
The third is also substantial, and judging from the vegetation, the depth of the channel and the lack of sediment in evidence it seems to run pretty continuously. I recall identifying a seepy, swampy, boggy area up above it on the hillside during a walk some months ago; I think that seep likely feeds the spring I found further down the hillside.
On the way back, I discovered an apple tree bearing fruit. The fruit was small, about the size of a baby's fist, its skin mottled and shot with brown traces, but worm free and quite tasty, sort of a cross between a granny smith and a yellow delicious, tart and crisp, juicy. I ate two. Only a few bites per apple, but hey, they're free, and only about 35 meters from the abode.
The Fruit of the Tree:
I also discovered another stand of wild roses - they're everywhere on this property, as are Hawthornes, and both are members of the same family. Roses produce a small, berry like fruit, reddish orange to red, known as rose hips. This edible fruit is a good source of vitamin C, and can be made into jams, jellies, wine - the usual stuff. Not sure how they taste raw - I'll give it a try and report back.
I also discovered a Mahaleb Cherry, only some few meters from the Abode. The fruit is a dark, very bitter, cherry like drupe, very distasteful, but a quick search reveals that the seeds are used in Mediterranean cooking, which is a past time my wife and I enjoy together.
The plant is cultivated for a spice, which is fragrant and has the taste of bitter almonds. It is used in small quantities to sharpen sweet foods, such as the Turkish sweet-bread çörek (chorak), the Greek sweet-bread tsoureki or the Armenian sweet-bread chorak. The chemical constituents are still uncertain, but the spice is prepared from the seeds, either by grinding and powdering the seed kernels, or in oil extracted from the seeds.
The wood is hard, and is used in cabinet-making and for pipes.
The bark, wood, and seeds contain coumarin. They have anti-inflammatory, sedative and vasodilation
Away from its native range, the species is grown as an ornamental tree for its strongly fragrant flowers, throughout temperate regions of the world; it has become naturalised in some areas, including Europe north of its native range (north to Great Britain and Sweden), and locally in Australia and the United States.
I've also found what I believe are some Red-Osier Dogwood shrubs, notable because of their white, blueberry-like (although apparently inedible, sources differ) fruit. I does have the advantage of being a preferred food of ruffed grouse.
I'll keep you posted.