Sunday, March 29, 2015

Very Old Apple Orchard

There's a very old apple orchard at the beginning of one of the trails up Jones Mountain.   It was there at the time the college bought the north face of the mountain, around 1920, and in recent years efforts have been made to revive the trees.  This year there are a good number of blossoms coming.  Here are the stages they seem to go through.  More terminal buds that look like Byzantine pulpits.

The yellow stain above 4312 is a drop of sap from the yellow celandine plants that are popping up in my front garden.  This golden sap was one of the pigments used as a substitute for gold in Medieval manuscripts when the budget didn't allow for real gold leaf.  I learned about this plant at the Medieval garden at the Cloisters in Manhattan, and for a few months after that I searched for examples of the plant in botanic gardens, garden centers, etc.  Then one day I realized the celandine poppy in my garden was the very plant I was looking for.  It comes back every year, but it needs to start bearing its flowers before the sap is plentiful.  I'm curious to try it out on parchment!
Drawing 4317 is one of a whole gathering of bloodroot plants along the trail today.

1 comment:

  1. gwen, bloodroot is one of my favorite plants, it was even the first plant dye i used on my own handmade paper. can anything be better than bloodroot on vellum? lovely!