Monday, October 12, 2015

A Stranger in the Woods


It was a dark and stormy night...

Not really...I just thought it would be a good way to begin a post titled
"A Stranger in the Woods" {{smile}}

But it is true that it was drizzling rain the day I discovered "the stranger".
I had Oscar outside, letting him do what doggies need to do, when I first noticed it.
I saw a few dapples of red against the mostly-still-green leaves right at the edge of the woods,
 actually only several feet from where I was standing.

At first I thought it was a new holly or pyracantha bush that had come up volunteer,
but when I looked again, I knew it was neither one of those...
...and most definitely something I needed to investigate further.
I put Oscar back in the house, grabbed my point-n-shoot since it was wet outside,
and ambled back down to the edge of the woods where I saw red...uh...orange...pink...
...all of those colors, as I found out the closer I got!


This is the stranger.



I was so excited!
In all of the 23 years living here, I had never seen anything like it.
I wasted no time snapping away between rain drops until my camera started getting wet.
(Those photos were pretty bad ...kinda blurry and dark ...so these were taken the next day in the sunshine.)


So as soon as I got back in the house I put in a Google search for...
"plant with reddish pink nubby pods with orange berries".
That's the best way I knew how to describe it.



And then, there it was...
...something called Bursting Hearts or Hearts-a-Bustin',
Strawberry Bush or the by the official name of Euonymus americanus!



And here are a few tidbits of info I found on this other link.

Wildlife biologists often refer to strawberry bush as an “ice-cream plant” for deer. In fact, deer love strawberry bush so much that it can be non-existent in areas with hungry deer. For deer, we plant one, long row of plants spaced two to three feet apart and cover it with a “hoop-house” of chicken wire. The wire protects the plant and allows tender sprouts to escape the protection of the cage which can then be eaten by the deer. 
Don’t forget that strawberry bush is an absolutely beautiful and unique native plant worthy of inclusion in your yard. The bright green shoots grow straight as an arrow (hence the name arrow-wood) and develop seed pods resembling strawberries that burst open in late summer exposing four or five bright red seeds that dangle from the open pods. Hence the other common name ‘hearts-a-bustin’. Whatever its name is, include this guy in your landscape if you’re interested in adding a unique, native touch that will be sure and receive plenty of positive feedback.

I guess that explains this.


There are actually two other plants right next to the one that's blooming that I didn't recognize.
 They are nothing but a few straight, green, sticks poking up from the ground.
It looks as though a few of our visiting deer have been enjoying some ice cream! :)


So have you ever seen this stranger lurking in your woods?



I'm sharing with Judith at Mosaic Monday.
Come on over and see what others are sharing!

38 comments:

  1. No, I've never seen it, but I sure do like the pink and orange combo! I'm glad you found these before the deer got them. Lovely photos!

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  2. Beautiful Debby, I have never seen one. Thanks for sharing it.

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  3. What an interesting plant...and I think the name Bursting Heart is really quite fitting!
    Beautiful photographs, dearest Debby...you are such gifted photographer and oh! You have a way with words too...so lovely visiting with you!
    Blessings and hugs!

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  4. This is the first time I've heard/seen this plant too. Thank you for sharing the cool photos and interesting info (gotta love Google!) on the Bursting Hearts.

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  5. How fun to find a stranger in the woods and an interesting one at that. Your photos are awesome Debby and portray just how the plant got the name Bursting Hearts.

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  6. Hello Debby, what a pretty plants. It is new to me, I do not believe I have seen this plant. The berries or hearts are pretty. Lovely post. Have a happy new week ahead!

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  7. It is a gorgeous plant and, no, I have never seen one. Thanks for taking such pretty pictures and for explaining what you discovered.

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  8. They sure are unique and beautiful.

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  9. Oh wow, Debbie! It's an amazing plant and so wonderfully created! Thanks so much for sharing such beauty!

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  10. That's an amazing looking plant. I've never seen anything like it. We have a strawberry bush in our garden, but it must be something else. I like the idea of "deer ice cream."

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  11. I'm SO excited to see this post and your amazing photos! We saw some of these plants in NC on one of our hikes. I was so surprised that I even pointed it out to a couple of hikers that came along at the same time. Now I know what it is! I'll try to get some pics up soon so I can link my post to yours! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  12. What a cool plant. I've never seen it or heard of it. Great find.
    I LOVE your stormy night picture. Outstanding.

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  13. Strange, yet with wonderful coloring.

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  14. nope I've never seen him but he sure is purty.

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  15. Wow! What a cool find. I have never seen anything like that before either. Bursting Heart sure does fit it though. I love the pink and orange combo, very pretty! Great photos Debby!
    Enjoy your day!
    Hugs, Amy

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  16. Wow! What a cool find. I have never seen anything like that before either. Bursting Heart sure does fit it though. I love the pink and orange combo, very pretty! Great photos Debby!
    Enjoy your day!
    Hugs, Amy

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  17. Hi Debby, I haven't seen anything like this plant before now, it's beautiful! Ice cream for deer, who knew? I love the first photo, too! Wonderful photos and I'm glad to learn about a new plant!

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  18. Debby, What a great looking plant. For sure, the pink and orange are great together. The texture for my is very interesting. I learned something today. Good for you to plant for the deer. Sylvia D.

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  19. love that beautiful, moody first shot! and the strawberry bush is amazing!

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  20. Now that is an impressive looking plant, I have never come across anything like before. What a find!

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  21. Ooooh, what a fabulous post, Debby! First of all, did you take the first photo? It's incredible and hauntingly beautiful :)

    Also, what a unique plant! I have never seen anything quite like it. Love and hugs to you, precious friend!

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  22. Wow! All strangers in the woods should be so pretty! Great post!

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  23. I think this is the prettiest and most unusual plant I've seen in a while. Thanks for sharing all about it. I guess if it's one that would grow in our area it's most likely eaten by the deer which are very plentiful. It's not something that would survive in my garden! Beautiful photos and mosaics Debby.

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  24. Hi Debby! I love the name 'bursting hearts'. It looks just like that! I should tell my SIL about these plants. She has had a terrible time with deer coming right up to her porch and eating her plants! They are so brazen!
    Thank you for introducing me to a new plant :)
    Ceil

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  25. Wow, that plant is exquisite! No, I've never seen anything like it, but it looks like something that would not prefer living in the desert....lol! YAY for deer having an ice cream treat!

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  26. That is gorgeous, Debby!! What a strikingly beautiful plant...so many rich colors! I wonder why most of us have never seen one? Must be those deer? :)

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  27. This is so pretty, all those colours together. Mother nature is quite awesome, isn't she?

    Diana

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  28. I've never seen anything quite like this, but I can see why you were keen to stop and capture. The colours are amazing and it is quite unique looking. Beautiful!

    Sharing snapshots at Captured By Jade

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  29. How amazing is that plant! I'm so glad you took pictures of it. It's really cool looking.

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  30. I like your "stormy" night photo. The stranger in the woods is actually quite pretty. Interesting, a plant for deer! It's my impression they think all plants are for them. ;)

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  31. It is wonderful...reminds me of Wahoo, but they are different. Yet I bet they are closely related. At least my daddy called it Wahoo... https://www.google.com/search?q=wahoo+plant&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAmoVChMIuvPS8_jEyAIVCWs-Ch23PwaX&biw=1225&bih=766

    The way the pods burst open to reveal the seeds is what makes me think they are similar. NOW, I would like to see one like yours!

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  32. Wow! I've never seen anything like this! So interesting!

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  33. Wow! I've never seen anything like this! So interesting!

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  34. Well now I know something new...:) I can so relate to the deer.....ice cream is irresistible!! Your photos and stories always are a highlight to my day! Love you!

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  35. Gorgeous photos! I have never seen this plant before but now I am intrigued.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it something? I am hoping to see it again next summer...marking the place in the woods where it is growing and wondering if it will survive this winter! :) Thanks for visiting!

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Thank you for stopping by today! Your sweet comments are such an encouragement to me.

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