Yesterday we went out to check on ginseng seedlings and found the cedar trees blooming with Cedar-Apple Rust fruiting bodies. It’s caused by a fungus and alternates each year on cedars or apple trees. If there aren’t any apple trees around, or maybe even if there are apple trees, it also chooses hawthorne or crab-apple trees here in the Ozarks for hosting the alternate years.
On the alternate years it appears as small round rust colored circles on the leaves of the host plants. When it gets to the cedar year, it “blooms” with the otherworldly things you see in the photo above.
If you’re growing apples, it pays to grow varieties resistant to this fungus because controlling it or eliminating it is an exercise in futility. The second link is from the University of Arkansas Extension and it lists a whole lot of varieties and their corresponding resistance ability. “VR” means “very resistant”.
Here’s some links to learn more:
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.