My 45th passage through the dog days of summer in the Sandhills of North Carolina, and the maypop has shared them all. The still, shimmering sands bear little fruit during the sweltering days of August, but the vigilant traveler will spy the brilliant purple passionflower meandering alongside in the unlikeliest spot.
Pause for a closer look amidst the foliage and part the leaves of the neighboring plants to which the tenacious tendrils cling, and one may be rewarded with a glimpse of the prize, the thing itself, the ovoid emerald, the maypop.
Patience. Still green. Right now it'll serve better as a green grenade for sweaty late afternoon battles with the cousins... With cooler weather, when the fruit is yellow and shriveled, the sweet, gelatinous flesh surrounding the seeds will render a treat to rival the pomegranate. Perhaps we can even convince Mom to put up a few jars of maypop jelly for the winter.