Friday, 7 October 2016

Nanny Who?

There is a native shrub hereabouts that my father used to call a 'Nannytaw'. Checking horticulture websites, it is only referred to as a 'Nannyberry' (Viburnum Lentago). It is presently sporting ripe, blue-black, sweet fruit. Each autumn since childhood I've been nibbling this tasty berry and a row of this dense bush provided me with a secret fort when I was about twelve. Back in the day when smoking was cool and I was much too young to buy a pack or even smoke cigarettes, (and not allowed to by my parents, anyway) I would covertly smoke dried nannytaw leaves. No nicotine and a very, very mild smoke.

Anyway, I was wondering why Dad's family called this shrub a Nannytaw. I get the 'Nanny' bit because goats like to eat this plant and the bark, when pealed, smells somewhat like a goat. But the 'taw' bit? Webster's dictionary describes taw as a fancy marble. I'm guessing somewhere in Dad's ancestry, taws must have been a sort of slang for berries.

Nannyberry (our family called it nannytaw) fruit is currently at it's snacking best.

Some berries are missing from this bunch. Robins love them.

Today was gloriously sunny and warm. I spent most of the day outside and felt sorry for those folk at deskbound employment. Here are more pics from my morning's walk.

Virginia creeper vines are now at their festive best.

The tree-lined laneway in the middle of our farm is perfect for relaxing walks.

October's sun climbs less high now and throws longer shadows.

The plastic net allows smaller birds to feed without the competition of bluejays.


  1. What luscious berries, I cannot find it for sale down here, and your lane through the trees, shadows and dappled sunshine at this time of the year, maybe snow will arrive later on!! Enjoy those autumn colours.

  2. That's really fun! When I was a kid I smoked the illegal stuff. Those were the days...

  3. I am totally unfamiliar with the nannytaw tree and berry and you have me intrigued. I have been disappointed Florence not to find wild blueberries here; so loved picking them at home where they grow abundantly. Meanwhile, lovely photos of lovely land and what a great recycle of the plastic mesh for feeders. Little birds are so lucky You are so clever. :)

  4. Interesting♥☺ Hope you have the most wonderful weekend♥


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