A pleasant surprise awaited me today when I got home. I took Penny out for a lap around my woods when this caught my eye.

Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) bloom

Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) bloom


I was not expecting the partridge berries to be in bloom yet, because a lot of them are still carrying last year’s berries. But here they were. I haven’t looked up the data yet – maybe they’re right on time and I just wasn’t ready.

Most of them have not opened yet. Here’s what they look like just before they open:

Mitchella repens

Mitchella repens

And here’s one with last year’s fruit:

Last year's berry

Last year’s berry


These berries are edible, and I like them quite a bit. I think I could eat a quart of them in one sitting, as they are not overpoweringly sweet like a lot of berries. The two eyes on the berry are from the two flowers you can see in the previous shots. The two flowers fuse at the base and form a single berry, and these eyes are the vestiges the flowers leave behind. That makes them pretty easy to identify too.

I’m also going to include this shot of a maple-leaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) because it had a photogenic visitor:

Mapleleaf viburnum visitor

Mapleleaf viburnum visitor


I have not tried to identify this creature yet, and I think I might not bother. It’s enough just to have his (or her) photo.

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