On September 14th the Duncannon Outdoor Club (DOC) sponsored a 2.43 mile hike at Little Buffalo State Park in search of staghorn sumac. We did find a small tree too young to bear fruit. During the hike, those in front were treated to a doe and her fawn.
Prior to hiking we discussed the difference between Poison and Staghorn Sumac. Poison Sumac can be found in swampy, wooded areas and bears white berries. Staghorn is located in sunny areas along fields and roads. Staghorn has red berries in a cone shape and soft velvety fuzz on the branches similar to the velvet on a stag’s horns (correctly known as antlers). The bare branches in winter also resemble a stag’s horns, hence the name, “Staghorn Sumac”. Remember the phrase: “White means fright – red delight”.
We also dicussed The Tree of Heaven since it looks similar to sumac. The Tree of Heaven is an invasive species from China that bears light yellow flowers that hang down and turn into green seed pods changing to brown in the fall.
After the hike, participants had the opportunity to make Sumacade. They soaked the berries in water for 10 minutes, strained the water and added sugar to individual tastes.
Our next hike will be on October 19th for a moonlight hike. Come learn about waxing, waning, quarter and gibbous moon phases. Hope to see you there.