Friday, May 18, 2007

Vaccinium arboreum


Mom and Pop eagle are bringing in everything they can find to feed junior. A lot of it looks like road kill but I've never seen them hauling a possum. I'm thinking an epic battle is going on between the crows and the eagles for the fine carrion bounty littering Tennessee's Highway 27.

Dead squirrels make live eaglets.

I think I've finally identified the native shrubs that grow around the house. The blooms are certainly in the blueberry family but the leaves are much more waxy than you would expect. Turns out there are several hundred native blueberries...even the cranberry is a blueberry. When I told my wife that what we had so much of was called "Farkleberry" she looked at me, paused, and simply said, "Call 'em something else."

The locals call them Mountain blueberries and they are sort of edible, though not exactly tasty if conditions are right, but they have tons of tiny seeds and simply aren't good enough for pancakes. Sparkleberry" is another common name but I like "Farkle."

Why not?

Well, I'm married and only rank as high as second in command on a good day.

The sparkle(farkle)berries closest to the house are in full bloom right now and they are gorgeous. In the Fall they turn a rich wine red and the leaves hang on forever. I'll post some pictures later on when I'm at a different computer and have a high speed connection. I'm glad to have a name to hang on them.

Actually, I just remembered that this flycatcher is sitting right outside my window in the very top of one of the sparkle(farkle)berries.

He doesn't care what I call it.




  1. Anonymous5:12 PM

    My husband and I were blown to Coker Creek, TN by Hurricane Katrina. Seeing as I'm Cajun and spent over 20 years in the food production business, I'll cook anything. We've been out in the woods picking what we thought were different types of edible blueberries, which we comingled. Now, we find out abour farkle berries...
    How do we know what's a huckleberry; what's a wild blueberry; and what's a farkle berry? Will anything terrible happen to us if we eat the farkle berries, assuming they're mixed in with their edible cousins?
    Coker Creek Cajun

  2. I think the only thing that will happen is that you'll get a blue tongue. Farkleberries are the least delectable of the group, but it is highly variable. Some years they are like eating blue dirt and some years they are delicious.

    I've read good things about their food value, but I don't know for sure.