05 October, 2008

Hips and haws

Autumn is a time of plenty for anything that can eat berries. Every hedge seems to be laden with berries, mainly bright red (hawthorn, rose hips, rowan) or deep purple (blackberries, elderberries). Later in the winter, flocks of fieldfares (sometimes called winter thrushes, for this reason) will migrate from Scandinavia to feast on them, if the local birdlife has left them any. I'm told that supermarket car parks can be surprisingly rewarding birdwatching locations in the winter, owing to the propensity of the owners to brighten up the tarmac and trolley zone with bushes bearing red berries, which amounts to a sign saying "Free All You Can Eat Buffet" for the birds.



Ripe and ripening blackberries














Hawthorn berries (haws). Four or five months ago this bush would have been a mass of May blossom











Rose hips on a wild rose bush












Rowan tree, otherwise known as mountain ash.





















Close up of rowanberries in a hedge.

8 comments:

goooooood girl said...

Very fine......

Lady D. said...

Beautiful pics again. I have found that blackberries and sloes have been pretty dismal in this part of the country - with a couple of exceptional spots. However, haws and hips seem to be everywhere in bright scarlet profusion!

Gabriele C. said...

Pretty pics.

Yeah, the rose hips are plenty here as well, and the rowanberries.

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

Have you ever tried making anything with rosehips Carla? Rosehips are supposed to contain massive doses of vitamin C aren't they? I've not looked of late but when my sons were small, rosehip syrup was still available as a baby tonic.

Carla said...

Good girl - Hello and welcome, and thank you

Lady D, Gabriele - thanks. Blackberries haven't been too bad here, but the rose hips do seem to be exceptional. Which I am sure the birds are pleased about.

Elizabeth - they are, but I'm not sure whether that's a myth (like the iron in spinach). I doubt whether much of it would survive the cooking process for turning rosehips into syrup, as vitamin C isn't stable to heat. Rosehip syrup was around when I was a kid, but I admit I've never looked for it since! I tried making rosehip jam once, but it seemed very bland, so I haven't tried again. I prefer a bit more sharpness and flavour, e.g. crabapple jelly. One of these days I must get around to trying rowanberry jelly.

Gabriele C. said...

I have rosehip mustard which is nice to some dishes.

Meghan said...

I want to eat the first picture it looks so delicious! Great job as always. :D

Carla said...

Gabriele - how is rosehip mustard made?

Meghan - thanks