May 24th, photo of the day: Learning New Things & Alphabe-Thursday: A

I was born in the Bay Area, in California, and moved to Medford Oregon when I was 12 years old.

Last November, I moved to the Puget Sound area in Washington. I naively thought that the foliage and such would be similar to that in Southern Oregon, since both are same general region of the Northwest.

I was sorely wrong. While there are some plants that overlap both places, Washington offers a whole slew of new and strange plants for me to learn about.

Among other things, there are two that I’ve encountered in the last two days that particularly caught my attention.

Yesterday, I “learned” about Stinging Nettle. My poor finger. Luckily I had Wikipedia to assure me that it’s only temporarily painful, and harmless.

Stinging Nettle

And today I saw something amazing (Alphabe-Thursday: A – I did it!).

Orange raspberries! Salmonberries!

This was a plant that looked exactly like a typical raspberry bush, but the berries were orange. ORANGE!

Isaac and I thought maybe they were just under-ripe, but even that seemed wrong to me. All unripe raspberries I’ve ever seen were white or green. I touched one – as any curious person would do – and it nearly fell away from the plant into my hand. To me, that means it was ready to be eaten.

I looked at Isaac, who was looking at me apprehensively. I wanted to eat that berry. But I was good.

I bought it home to look up and what it was. If all was well I would give it a go. I didn’t want to die, there in the middle of a little patch of forest.

These are showing up all along all the trails I’ve been on lately, and are a lovely bright orange color.

Such a crazy color to see out in the forest.

Just like a raspberry.

It was delicious. And I’m not dead. It tasted partly like a raspberry, and partly like — something else. I want to say sort of like an orange, but my brain might just be telling me that’s what it tasted like. Perhaps. I’ll have to eat more to be sure.

Jenny Matlock


23 thoughts on “May 24th, photo of the day: Learning New Things & Alphabe-Thursday: A

  1. I hate stinging nettles… they’re just horrible. We didn’t have them where I grew up and then I moved to The Netherlands and they’re everywhere. UGH!

    Oh my goodness I want to have orange raspberries!!!

    • It’s so interesting to me how something that is so prolific here in Washington (as I’m starting to see them everywhere…) is also found in a place so far away!
      I’m definitely not a fan of Stinging Nettles either. Though, I kind of want to touch one again now I know they’re basically harmless. Is that weird?

    • Hi Lissa! Learn something new everyday, right? My guess is these are expensive store bought. If you do find them somewhere, will you let me know where? I’m curious to try them again.

  2. Those look like what we call salmonberries. There are also mushier ones that are a bit redder and are called thimbleberries. Are you maybe thinking that thimbleberries are salmonberries?

    • No, I know these aren’t Salmonberries because the greenery isn’t right. Everything about this plant is exactly like common raspberries, except the color. I hadn’t heard of thimbleberries, so I just looked them up, but those are too red. The berries I’m seeing are very much orange, undeniably so. There is actually a type of berry called a “Orange Raspberry” and that’s what I believe these are.
      Here’s a link with some information:

        • Hey Anneli, I wanted to give you an update on the berry identifying – you were right, they ARE salmonberries! I was at a park cleaning event yesterday and everyone was referring to berries that looked exactly like these as salmonberries. I was wrong in identifying them as golden raspberries (good thing salmonberries didn’t end up being toxic! :/ ) Thanks for your input!

          • How very thoughtful of you to pursue this. I’m glad you found out about the berries. There are only the two kinds (that look like this) in the wild in our area (salmonberries and thimbleberries) but there’s always a chance that there are other kinds in other areas. Good for you for checking it out and it’s very kind of you to bother with a reply to my comment again. I had forgotten all about it. Now we all know. And yes, I’ve eaten plenty of both kinds and lived to tell about it.

  3. Stinging nettles…definitely not nice.

    Golden raspberries…yum, yum, yum.

    I used to grow raspberries in this shade back in Ohio and they were just called Golden. They had a sweeter taste I thought!

    I envy your time living in Medford. That has always seemed like a fabulous place to live to me!

    Thanks for linking up!


    • Hi Jenny!
      You used to grow them, huh? Nice! If I ever have my own garden space, I might have to give them a try. I’ve actually been seeing them EVERYWHERE now, since I posted this. And I’ve eaten my share of them too. :)
      As for Medford, yeah, it’s a nice little place. The valley that it sits in offers many good hiking trails to explore. I like Ashland too, which isn’t too far down I-5. The Rogue Valley is relatively close to the mountains, the ocean, and big cities (San Fran + Portland) if one is so inclined to visit any or all of those places.

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