If it be not ripe, it will draw a man's mouth awry, with much torment,
but when it is ripe, it is as delicious as an apricot.
Captain John Smith
General History of Virginia 1624
Bitter or Sweet
Walking along Turtle Creek on one of the back trails in the Park, the fruit of the persimmon tree began to catch my eye.
Waiting On a Freeze
Although some appear to be ripe, they deceive. The berries are still hard and full of tannin! As my dear old Daddy says; "they will sharpen your teeth if you take a bite." A hard autumn freeze is needed to ripen the fruit to heavenly sweetness!
Bark Like an Alligator
The old trees develop a bark that reminds me of an alligator hide. Tough as nails with a distinctive pattern.
Have heard some of the real old timers over the years refer to the tree as possumwood. Sounds good to me! The only thing that I can imagine making it to the top fruit would be the birds, raccoons, and the marsupial 'opossum.'
Sweet Jam in the Making
Patience is the key word while waiting on the berry to ripen. Picked when mushy or pudding like assures the most sweetest pulp one ever tasted! Made into jam like 'Mother used to make', is a special treat at the breakfast table. Makes everyday seem like Sunday!