I am a midwesterner at heart- loving the seasonal changes in woodland forests. Last week I led a group of women from Chevy Chase, MD on a hike to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. We were enveloped in the fall colors against Sugarloaf’s quartzite rocks. Her trees are in the early stages of the fall burst of color. Tupelo, Black Birch, Tulip Tree, Red Maple and Persimmon were glorious shades gold, crimson, citron and tangerine.
These women get their hands dirty working with soil, they are attuned to plant diversity and microhabitats. So I shared tree ID clues and various habitat preferences, knowing they would be interested in how these plants adapt to their specific part of the forest. Every time I lead a hike I learn something new about the mountain. This time I was struck by the number of persimmons on the summit, we all got a chance to see and taste those amazing berries. And for many on the hike their previous experiece with persimmon was the cultivated varieties in the grocery store. I encouraged them to taste the ripe fruit and I think I have a few more converts to my favorite tree.
It was a wonderful day to be on Sugarloaf with kindred spirits. Maybe if I finish work on a deadline in time today I can get back on the trail to my Persimmon Tree.