Friday, August 10, 2007


It seems I always find something new to photograph on my morning walk along the Fanno Creek Trail. We have been noticing how much beautiful fruit is ripening along the trail right now. The squirrels are noticing too. Yesterday we narrowly missed being pelted by bits of plum and flying seeds as the squirrels feasted overhead. This guy paused just long enough to pose for a few seconds, then went careening off. I think the squirrels are drunk on the fruit.

Plums are plentiful along the trail in several varieties.

There is an elderly couple that walks at the same time we do. The man said that he was told the origin of the fruit trees is related to the fact that our section of the trail runs along an old railroad right-of-way. The Red Electric Railroad was a commuter train that ran in the early part of the 20th century and the passengers would bring their lunches onboard and toss pits from fruit out the open windows. I wonder if that is true. It's a charming story and many of the fruit trees along the trail appear to be quite old. This mossy, old apple tree, with its gnarly apples seems like a relic of a bygone era for sure.

This one looks like a more modern variety.

Pear tree. This reminds me of that William Morris tapestry of pears.

The most ubiquitous fruit on the trail, indeed in the state of Oregon, are the blackberries that no one planted. They would cover every inch of soil between here and the Pacific Ocean if not controlled. The most beautiful grow just out of reach, with a vicious, thorny bramble between you and the luscious fruit.

I managed to reach a few, which went directly into my mouth. MMMMmmmm. They are so delicious.

In addition to the lovely edible fruits there are beautiful ornamental fruits. The Woody Nightshade is a jewel-like red, but quite poisonous.

Below are Cherry Laurel. One source I found on the internet said they are also poisonous to humans. Another source said they were not poison, but tasted "insipid". Either way, I think I'll pass. They are sure handsome though, aren't they?

And last I leave you with the Oregon State Flower, the Oregon Grape. Not really a grape at all, the leaves look quite a lot like holly and the berries are a lovely dusty blue-purple. They are edible, don't taste very good, but many parts of the plant are used medicinally.

All that color! It was inspiring today.


  1. Anonymous4:46 AM

    This walk would be my idea of heaven.
    Free Fruit! I feel fully justified in my habit of driving along and flinging seeds and pits of all kinds out the passenger window as I drive. Somehow, someday a tree will bear fruit and I made it possible.

    Deb L.

  2. What a fun walk!!! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Anonymous10:12 AM

    I remember Grandpa Howard telling us that that big ol' peach tree in their yard in Ashland was from a pit that he had flung out the kitchen window. I believed him--things just grow like crazy in Oregon.
    Hmmm. Now I'm craving some of Grandma's peach preserves!
    Beautiful pictures--I'd love to be strolling through the trees with you today.

  4. That woody nightshade looks just like a cherry tomato! But then tomatoes are in the same family. Thank you for such an interesting post.

  5. All that fruit along the trail; I love it.

    Squirrels (and jays) love my backyard plum tree, too. I go to pick up a ripe windfall, and... it's already been sampled, dammitall.