Friday, August 29, 2008
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.