I’ve finally solved the riddle of the Mystery Grape. The mystery started when I found a spherical translucent speckled green grape-like “fruit” lying in the middle of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania. Native Pennsylvania grapes are not green and there weren’t any visible grapevines in the area. So what did I find?
I literally delved deeper into the mystery by ripping open the green sphere to reveal an even more mysterious center mass resembling a white sea urchin. The central mass had tendrils which reached out through hollow space and clung to the bright green soft outer shell. It looked alien, like something from a science fiction movie that, if left unchecked, would grow into a pod-person.
The small town of Duncannon, PA has been chosen to become an official Appalachian Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy which is the national not-for-profit corporation in charge of managing, protecting and maintaining the Appalachian Trail. This official designation is mutually beneficial to Duncannon and the A.T. Conservancy. Duncannon gets promoted on a national level as a scenic nature-oriented town while the AT Conservancy gains a community of people willing to help promote and preserve the A.T. and surrounding local natural resources.
Duncannon will be having a festival on June 2nd, 2012 to celebrate its new status as an official Trail Community. In the morning there will be river trips, hikes and nature walks and Continue reading
I had a very interesting hike along the Peters Mountain Loop Trail today. My first surprise was that I found yet another Mystery Grape at the fifth switchback on the north-bound Appalachian Trail above the Shermans Peek Vista. This one was browning but still had the telltale speckles and urchin-like center.
The second surprise was much more dangerous. Continue reading
I found this green speckled fruit, which looks a lot like a grape, while hiking the Appalachian Trail near the Joseph E. Ibberson Conservation Area. It was in the middle of a wide section of the trail where its bright translucent green color stood out from rocks and dirt so clearly that it was nearly impossible to miss. I snapped a quick picture thinking I could easily identify it when I got home but Google was of little use. Continue reading