I started my day with great expectations. I had a long to-do list, mostly involving being outside in someway. At the top of the list was making Wild Honeysuckle Jelly. Doesn’t that just sound amazing? A FB friend had posted it up a few weeks ago that she made some. I was smitten by the idea. (I made dandelion flower jelly this spring!) So I got the housework done and headed out to a nearby state game land area. I figured I would harvest plenty there.
Nearly there, and sitting at a stop sign, a large bird sat at the bottom of the hill. A longer look and I could see it was a wild female turkey. I turned to try to get a picture of her. Of course she wandered into the brush as I approached. Looking for a place to turn around, I found honeysuckle scrambling up a tree in a secluded SGL parking area.
I approached the plant and said “thank you for letting me pick some of your flowers”. I began to pluck some off. Some critter (maybe a deer) went running deeper into the woods. After gathering about 1/2 cup, I went in search of more flowers. I needed 4 cups. This was going to take longer than I thought.
Driving slowly, I scanned for more. I realized I had missed peak due to peak at HG. Damn. I stopped in another pull off. Walking in to the woods, I followed a trail of honeysuckle deeper in, pinching flowers as I went. Big raindrops from the previous night’s storm had collected to their fullest, hanging swollen from above twigs. My plucking was causing the most delicious plops of water to land on me as they released. I stopped in appreciation again for this quiet time in the woods, this old fashioned gathering to make jelly. The alluring fragrance coming from my small collection was making me swoon. A bumblebee bumbled in, reminding me to leave some flowers for them. As I looked around, I spied a chipmunk sitting on a tree branch watching me.
Still, I needed more. This gathering was not the quick trip I had expected. Little honeysuckle flowers DON’T add up quick! I realized maybe it was me who needed more….more time in this sweet quiet, this wooded paradise.
Another patch, and on a dirt road! Memories of home flooded me. (I grew up in “the sticks”.) I pulled over and hopped out. As I harvested, the honeysuckle magic perfume drifted up and around me. Suddenly I was distracted by a patch of ripe black raspberries. My mom loved them. More sweetness surrounded me. Oh they are soooo tasty!
A hawk called out in a distant tree. A rumble of thunder warned of another approaching rain. Time to go, not enough honeysuckle blooms for jelly, but plenty to make honeysuckle honey or to dry for honeysuckle tea.
Abundance was so apparent. Thank you, Nature.
Gratitude and Joy,