Friday, August 29, 2008

Hobble-Bush


When Charlie and I hiked up Mt. Garfield last June for his final 4000 footer, we passed beautiful blooming Viburnum alnifolium also called Hobble- Bush. It is called hobble-bush because the plants grow tall in cool moist woods, tangling amongst themselves and reaching over trails and potentially causing hikers to stumble and then perhaps....hobble.

The flowers were striking in that there are larger sterile flowers surrounding tiny fertile ones. The leaves are big and luscious with a pleasing not-quite oval shape and saw-tooth edges.

A few nights ago, as Sara and I raced up Mt. Garfield to deliver Ben & Jerry's trail magic to a group of students that did not include Molly (we missed her by a day), we passed the hobble bushes again--the pretty white flowers were replaced by bright red berries that were turning to blue as they aged and the leaves were losing their appealing green and looked ravaged by the insect activity involved in pollination.

I was interested to read that the tangled branches of the hobble-bush provide a safe nesting place to the tiny black-throated blue warbler when it returns to the northwoods in early Spring.

Nature is so efficient.

9 comments:

June said...

I loved this post--I found it a very interesting way to assemble information gathered over a long period of time. Even the warbler!

beckie said...

Beth so sorry you missed Molly, but I know the hikers on the recieving end of the ice cream appreciated your efforts. The viburnum is a lovely plant and how neat it gets berries. I imagine they feed different kinds of birds during the winter. And then to provide a nesting site to the warbler next spring makes it a plant for all seasons. Hope you and Sara are having a great time!

Rambling Woods said...

That is a beautiful place to hike..

Beth said...

June, thank you--I was very happy to learn of the warbler--I will be up on the mountain looking for one come spring.

Beckie, it was sad to miss Molly but we met other kids from her school--her group had divided and she was in the faster group--so at least people who knew her got the chocolate fudge brownie ice cream.

Rambling Woods, it is indeed.

Jayne said...

Indeed it is! Neat to see the hobble bush in bloom and with berries. :c)

The Texican said...

Next time reminder her to include the day of the week in her instructions. Kids! I'm glad you told me about those plants. I will include 'not stumbling over vines' practice in my mountain hiking training routine. I guess I could practice on Kudzu when I in Mississippi. Have a great weekend. Pappy

The Texican said...

Not reminder her, but remind her.

Lavinia said...

These pics are so dainty and pretty.

Kathiesbirds said...

Beth, what a treat it would be to see this bird!