Entries to Win Afghan

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Walking and Writing

creek into Pere Marquette River

Ellen came, and we did go for a short walk. My stupid leg was too sore to go any farther, and I didn't do it any good. Now I'll have to be really careful for a few days. We ended up just doing the loop along the Pere Marquette River that you've seen before. Above is the small creek one must cross to reach the trail section that is right along the riverbank. Some times of the year the bridge is underwater! But today we were able to hike the whole loop.
creek into Pere Marquette River

This picture shows another potential adventure. The river is running across the picture from right to left. The waterway coming toward you in the center of the picture is a small creek. It would be interesting to explore that gully some time. I looked at the local topo map, and it's just a short creek, no name, and probably all on private property. But I wonder if I could get permission to follow it?
Japanese Barberry

These pictures are of a very pretty, but problem plant. It is Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii. The shrubs have very sharp thorns and it is often planted to create hedges for security, or under windows. However, in most of the northeastern US, it has escaped and is now listed by the US Department of Agriculture as invasive. It displaces native plants and reduces wildlife habitat and forage. Whitetail deer avoid eating it, which gives it a big advantage. It will grow almost everywhere, and makes the soil more basic, which can change the plants which will grow in an area.
Japanese Barberry

Here's a closeup of the berries. They look so pretty for Christmas! But it's a really bad plant in our part of the world.

Writing? I did take a third place in the Accentuate Writer's fiction contest for October! I'm quite happy with that! It was a theme that I had to stretch a bit to come up with an idea for. The November theme was even "worse!" So I wrote a spoof. I'm not sure how well I pulled it off. That one is still in judging. I'm not sure I'll be able to get one done in December, but I have found another contest I may enter if I can find time, since that is due Dec 7. Anyway, here's "proof" of my win. First Love Contest Winners. Sorry, I can't share it; the contestants agree to allow the contest anthology to have first-time publication rights. But the title was "Invisible," and the theme was First Love.

See A Walk By the River
See National Park Service info on Japanese Barberry


Lin said...

It is pretty. Too bad it is such a menace!

RNSANE said...

Congratulations, Shark, on your literary win. It is deserved. I would love to read it someday.

Be careful hiking when you're ailing!! I know it's hard to keep someone like you down. Great photos of that shrub...it must be like the kudzu in the South, that was brought from China, and grows wild, taking over the trees and shutting out all their light!

Marg said...

Great pictures. I love to hike too but don't have anywhere to do it at the moment. That does look like a huge problem bush. Bet it is hard to get rid of. Sorry you are hurting.

wenn said...

congrats on yr winning..

rainfield61 said...

The berries are lovely and beautiful. I like the red dots.

Julia said...

That non-natives plight our county is a sad thing. Yellow start thistle, Himalayan blackberry, tamarask, French broom and others are so bad out here.

I do love the wintery pictures though. And sorry about your leg.

Ann said...

Congratulations on third place and good luck in your other contests. That is a pretty plant, looks very festive
Take care of that leg and have a great day :)

Buggys said...

Such a shame about the japanese barberry, it really is beautiful.

VanillaSeven said...

The berries are pretty. Too bad they are thorny!

WillOaks Studio said...

Sorry about your leg and congrats on your writing award! As far as invasive plants goes--some are a huge problem down here, too, but none quite as pretty as that one! I love red, though.

dinesh said...

nice pice i love hiking ,berries are good

Jean said...

love the berries

A smile from SJ =)

Ratty said...

Following that river sounds like a wonderful idea. There's a river I've been thinking about following because I hear the loud sound of rushing water down stream. I haven't done it yet because it's a little inaccessible. Now I'll have to wait until spring. I'd love to see where your river leads. I hope you can get permission from whoever owns the land.

Congratulations on the contest.

Sharkbytes said...

To all- thanks for helping me celebrate my win, and for caring about the muscle. It's getting better.

Lin- I just read that you can eat the berries, but they are very acid. I'll have to try that.

Carmen- Well, thankfully it's not as prevalent as Kudzu! Japanese Knotweed is working at being the Kudzu of the north.

Marg- Oh, there must be SOMEWHERE you can go! That would be too sad.

wenn- thank you!

rainfield- they really are like dots. They are hard- almost like plastic beads

Julia- as always, your list is completely unknown to me. Fascinating!

Ann- It is festive, especially when it's really lush, sad to say.

Buggys & Vanilla- yup... I'm looking for some other red berries to show that are native.

Karen- all too often the invasives have very pretty features.

dinesh- always glad to meet another hiker!

SJ- I'll take all the smiles I can get. Thanks!

Ratty- I'm thinking that I just might try to get permission. I can beg that I want to study trees or something. ;-)

Joe Todd said...

Looks a lot my part of Ohio. Didn't I see you post something about TarHollow State Park in Ohio. There is a fire tower there I wonder if you can climb to the top?

Sharkbytes said...

Joe- Nice to see you! Yes, on the North Country Trail News blog I put an article about Tar Hollow. I did not climb it when I was there in 1999, which makes me think that it must be closed because I always climb if they are open.

Michelle L Devon said...

congrats on your win! for those wanting to read her story, she's being published in the anthology on November 2010 - I feel certain she'll be selling copies of that book then, or at least we will at http://www.twintrinitybooks.com when it comes out! Her story was amazing!

Hey, Sharkbytes, those pictures are absolutely gorgeous, but I can 'feel' the cold just looking at them! Crisp cold air! The berries are so pretty!

Love and stuff,

Sharkbytes said...

Michy! How did I miss this comment? I am so honored that you stopped by my blog! And even said nice things ;-) Thank you.

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