I am not done with paw paws, my friends. After posting about them, and hoping to someday find some more, the kids and I took off on the Hock Hocking Adena Bicycle Trail, that runs from Athens to Nelsonville, Ohio. It turns out that last time, we had unknowingly turned around and headed home at just about the point on the trail where the paw paw hunting gets crazy. So on a fine Sunday we drove to the point where we'd left off last time, and as luck would have it we saw more and more paw paw trees the farther we rode.
This is prime Southern Ohio paw paw country.
The more we looked, the more we saw--beautiful big green paw paws hanging, big as a newborn kitten, in the long green leaves.
Phoebe and Liam's natural foraging skills kicked in, and they grew adept at spotting the trees and their luscious cargo as we tooled along. We had to give some of them up to unsure footing or patches of defensive poison ivy or stinging nettle, but there were more than enough that we could reach.
I forgot my hastily-shed backpack as I shook trees and clambered around in the bottomland forest just off the trail, so I pressed my Life is Good shirt into service as a paw paw smuggler. No one has ever accused me of being a melon smuggler.photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson.
photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson
Liam found a paw paw hanging all alone and got to shake it down.
Then he called Daddy to tell him all about it. My sweet little paw paw picker, my sweet little guy.With each paw paw he picked, he'd ask, "May I eat this one?" Oh, yes. They're free.In my next installment, I'll tell you what it's like to process paw paws. I'm posting from the biggest Apple store I've ever seen, on the Magnificent Mile along Lake Michigan in Chicago. Cute spiky-haired Genius (why are they all pale brunettes?) just walked up and gave me his blessing to post away. Giving a talk to the DuPage Birding Club tonight. Sun shining, breeze blowing. Life is great.