Friday, September 19, 2014

Front porch oddities

I was out on the front porch in the dark taking pictures of Itsy, who isn't really bitsy
unless compared with a tarantula. I haven't seen any tarantulas on the front porch this year ... yet ...
but it's only a matter of time, this being tarantula season and all.


I did see this creature near the ceiling, though, and climbed on a chair to get a closer look.
Who knew bats have such cute feet, or hands, or whatevers?
Then I amost fell off the chair because something began rattling very loudly down on the ground.


It wasn't a rattlesnake but it was this crazy vine with these weird paper-lantern-like pods 
that make very scary noises when blowing against the concrete. 
Perhaps I wouldn't have been so rattled had I not just been photographing spiders and bats.



 Johnny was of no use in protecting me, as he was in the house on the other side of the dirty window.



It turns out that I had no reason to be afraid of the rattling pods. 
Danni knew right away what they were: ground cherries. 
How is it that this stuff just shows up out of nowhere? 
I swear this vine never made an appearance until this summer. 


Professor Google tells me it's edible and "...tastes like a cherry tomato injected with mango
and pineapple juice and looks like an orange pearl encased in a miniature paper lantern."
I've found several recipes featuring them, including this one for ... you guessed it ... Ground Cherry Pie.
It's never too early to start thinking about next year's pie festival.




22 comments:

  1. The ground cherries that a local farmer sold me had a husk that was light brown like parchment. The fruit was sweet and strange. Hard to identify the notes. It is nice to see the plant! I love them! The critters you showed us are nice, but aren't you a little early for Halloween?

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  2. Ground cherries are delicious. They are ready to eat when their outer paper like leaves turn light brown. The cherry takes on a brown color. We have them at the market and they are so sweet and lovely. You will need lots for a pie. BA SP

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  3. So funny you should post about ground cherries! Just yesterday, a co-worker shared some with me at the office. They were quite tasty and what a neat little package they come in!

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  4. Spider, NO. The bat, Very CUTE!

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  5. Sounds like a winner to me!

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  6. Cut me some and send it for the wedding next week? :)

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  7. You're lucky you still have bats. We have a fungus disease that is killing ours. In fact it may be too late. I used to see at least a dozen every night when the sun started going down. I haven't seen a single one this year.

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  8. Love that Johnny was inside looking out. Never heard of ground cherries until now. Great pics.

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  9. Holy moly that is a fuzzy bat!! I love bats but I am not sure I am brave enough to get close enough for a photo.

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  10. One small note of caution. Ground cherries are very good but can make you sick if they aren't completely ripe. Be sure the husks are dry and the cherries yellow. Then they are great eating. They are related to tomatillos.

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  11. I love how things just pop up in the desert after it rains. There are always surprises. A guy I work with brought me a dead tarantula that he found in the barn yesterday. I thru it in the truck with the windows up, in the heat of the day.........who knew they smelled so bad. :(

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  12. Ah, a girl that that loves bats and spiders--I knew we were friends for a reason. :)

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  13. You might want to check your ground cherries again.....ground cherries usually grow on a plant that is not vining...at least the kind you eat. They are related to the tomatillo. There is also another weed type plant that gets a similar fruit on it that I believe is not edible....we used to call them Chinese lanterns....not sure what yours are. Just double check before you eat....or your pie may have an unwanted surprise aspect to it!!

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  14. That bat is too cute. And I don't like fur flying critters. But that little thing is adorable. I think those lantern things are tomatillos, but they are tiny...not yet time to make green salsa...you would need a few more hundred at that size.

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  15. have you tried one yet? Are they tasty?

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  16. Spiders terrify me, but oh my gawd, that bat is too flippin' cute.

    Kendra

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  17. Is that spider pregnant? Or maybe she just eats too much fast food?
    The bat is cute and since I had two in the house visiting, I am partial to them :-)

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  18. that spider has an elegant look, like she is wearing a fashionable outfit, and her net has quite a curious shape, more square then curved. I had ever seen that. I love your cute bat, your oasis is attracting new wild life, animal and plant-wise, what a pleasure!

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  19. When I was a kid, back when air was new, we had ground cherry volunteers that came up when we moved into our new house in 1960 (which by the way I still live in today). Those were the best treats. We would check every day to see if the husks had dried out and the inside deliciousness was ready to eat. Lucky ducky you......save some of the seeds and you're all set for next years garden.

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  20. An American in Tokyo9/21/14, 6:21 PM

    Oh yeah, ground cherries are yummy! But you have to wait until the outside is all dried out like an autumn leaf and the inside is a nice orange color. Yum!

    I never knew bats had such cute feet either! Maybe the bat will eat some tarantulas for you? hee hee

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  21. I have ground cherry volunteers that grow at the base of our willow tree. This year there is a bumper crop, so maybe after they ripen I will try baking a pie! Your posts always give me something to think about!

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  22. Could you please warn us the day before you post the tarantulas? I'd like to skip that day. On the other hand, I love the little pip-squeak!

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