This morning I went collecting walnuts from the park nearby. There are a few walnut trees there as well as some fruit trees. The town where I live was built only a few decades ago and they left the original orchard and made it part of a small park. This morning I was quite early and I found some 50 nuts. Not bad, even though this year many nuts are quite small. Much smaller than last year, but the harvest seems to be more plentiful. Many people go there and find walnuts, some even throw sticks into the trees to force the nuts to drop. I really don’t like that, but in all truth I cannot prove that it harms the tree over much. Even though some branches always get broken.

(Sorry for the blur, my phone camera has troubble getting the focus right when the object is nearby)


Elderflower bugs!

Armed with bag and scissors I went collecting elderflowers for cordial this morning. Got about 15 ‘umbels’ (anyone uses this word? It’s what my dictionary tells me is the name for flowers of an umbellifer….) and went to clipping off the green stems right after returning home.

To my dismay each umbel didn’t only yield sweet smelling blossom, but also about a thousand (only slightly exaggerated, truly!) tiny crawly insects of less than a mm length.

Loath to dispose of my harvest I proceeded and then kept moving the flowers from one bowl to another (in between cleaning the bowls) until much fewer creepy crawlies came out. My, thus unfortunately much reduced, volume of blossoms now sits in the deep freezer which will hopefully cause massive death among the elerflower insects.

In my mind they will drop to the bottom of the bowl when they have died after which I can lift of the flowers and process them as intended. If this will happen in reality remains to be seen.

To be continued….

Continued: In frozen condition the critters were easy enough to make a picture of. Fortunately we have a camera with a great macro feature.

I have taken out the frozen blossom and a fair amount of bugs lay in the bottom of the bowl. The blossoms are now covered with boiling water and I’m going to forget there were any critters still in them. Yes, I’m determined to forget. Or to consider them an extra source of protein. I’m sure I got most of them out and I’ll make sure to boil the sirup/cordial well before putting it in jars. That should take care f any nasties, I hope.