Juniperus communis

This Saturday morning my son, Finn (10), my daughter, Harriet (8), and I went out to try to find some samples of  juniper.  I had to bribe them with a stop first for hot chocolate at the Stony Creek Market.  Patrick Sweeney, Peabody’s collections manager in botany, sent out a query about where to find juniper locally and was told there was some at the old quarry site near Stony Creek.  After our stop for hot chocolate we drove down to where the trail head started.  It was overcast and cold and the ice on the trail crunched underfoot.  Finn pulled a feathery tipped phragmites and was entertaining himself by trying to tickle our ears with it.  The old quarry site is close (thank God!) and we were there in no time.  Patrick made it sound like there would be many juniper bushes among the rocks, but everywhere I looked there was only red cedar.  We walked the total length of the quarry, but found only red cedar.  We walked on and found another old quarry site that had filled with frozen water.  Finn started throwing cobble-size stones to break the ice (he was only able to break through once) and Harriet began complaining that she wanted to go.  I told her to go in the woods, but that wasn’t what she meant, she was cold, so I turned around and took a different path back-nothing but cedar.  We got back to the first quarry site and I saw a low evergreen bush that looked different.  Sure enough, it was juniper!  I broke off three small branches so I could bring it to the Peabody to test how it will dry.  We ran back to the car with our bounty to get warm and so Finn couldn’t tickle our ears!

Explore posts in the same categories: Collecting Foreground

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