Rowan Berries on the Path

rowan berries on a woodland path

There were rowan berries on the path this morning in the woods. I take this to mean that it’s really autumn now. When the rowans are all shiny and new on the trees, you know that the end of summer approaches. There’s just the tiniest hint of the next season in the air.

rowan berries

But once they’re on the ground? Autumn. Autumn all the way.

Rowan Berry Jam

I recall a time when I used to make jam out of rowan berries. They are poisonous raw, but after a vigorous boiling with sugar, they’re edible, though rather bitter.

rowan berry jam

I liked the bitter sweet flavour. It was fruity and earthy and somehow tasted ancient. However, I was the only one. The rest of my family screwed up their faces at the bitterness. I no longer eat refined sugar, due to medical conditions, so my rowan jam making days are over. Nothing is wasted in nature though. The birds love those little waxy berries.

And I love autumn with its mix of misty mornings and hot sunny afternoons. It’s breezy and blustery here today. The air is warm, though it rained overnight. No need to water the pots. No need to light the fire. Rowan berries pop under my feet as I walk, and the trees grow more colourful every day.

Recent Reviews

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

Sally Cronin featured a review of FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE on her wonderful Smorgasbord Bookshelf last week.

Elizabeth is gutsy, vulnerable, rash and caring, and her quick wittedness and bravery had me cheering her on from the sidelines. Like her, we are confronted by the harsh realities of life as a slave or indentured labourer and she experiences danger and brutality as she wades in to protect her new-found friends.

See the whole review here.

Cover of Ailish Sinclair's 'The Mermaid and the Bear'

A review of THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR was included in the reading round up on the lovely Smelly Socks and Garden Peas blog.

“I really loved the rich variety this novel brought – it’s not all danger and torture, there’s peace and contentment, a feeling of having found one’s place, delight, fun, celebration and true happiness too. Each phase of Isobell’s experiences are brought to life, they’re evocative and have real depth. I’ll definitely be picking up Ailish’s other books in future too.”

See the review here.

Talking of those books in the future…

Well, one of them anyway.

That’s misty Bennachie in the background of the image below, and stones from Aikey Brae on the cover. Both places feature in the novel.

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD with a misty mountain view

Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes, a neurodivergent main character, and some rather complicated romance.

Out now!

“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society


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27 Replies to “Rowan Berries on the Path”

  1. When I was a kid, I was always sad to see the rowan berries go red, as it meant it was time to go back to school after the long summer holidays.
    I had no idea you could make jam from them. Sounds delightful!

  2. I’ve really been enjoying Autumn this year. More so than in previous years, it feels like. I love that earthy flavor that you describe—there is a certain tea that I drink that has the full, earthy flavors of mixed herbs that I crave because it makes me feel so grounded and like I’m drinking a cup full of healing.

  3. Turning bitter or sour fruit into small wines/ales/jams for preserving seems to be the one place where sugar doesn’t bother me – I learned in childhood most things I craved, that were sweet? Just gave me a sugar headache – sigh – and yet, boil it, ferment it – let time/mother nature do their thing and/or do the sweet combined with savory, bitter or sour? Somehow, all that fades away – ! Sigh – for me? It could just be my rationalization for people who wonder why I drink coffee black – dark roast, only – and right now? in trends on health fronts? being ‘no likey mouthful of sugar’ seems to be acceptable – LOL Until the dentitst asks why I don’t use store bought toothpaste – – and I reply, “Well, you just want me to gargle with a TBS of sugar everymorning and evening???” 😀

  4. I remember when I first learnt of them as a child through reading a book and their protective properties (Fantasy novel). I love that you had jam from them! I’ve not attempted Jam yet but may be a project in the not too distant future.

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