Today is the answer to my mystery bush. Who would have thought it would have a direct connection with hard liquor? But I'll get to that in a minute. Beverly and George in Tennessee guessed what it is. A Juniper! Juniper berries have been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, including king Tut's. The Greeks used them in many of their Olympic events. They are used as seasonings in foods, and McCormick sells bottles of them in a dried form. Juniper is what is used to flavor gin. That's right! The name "gin" itself is derived from the French "genievre" or the Dutch "jenever", which both mean "juniper". Juniper berries are not tasty, and wildlife leave them alone till the winter, when they fall on hard times. Junipers help pull the wildlife through really tough times. They provide shelter, food, protection, and are one of the top ten plants for wildlife. All kinds of birds, including grouse, turkeys, and bluebirds devour the fruit. During one cold day, a single bird may gulp down 200 berries. And I've never heard of even one getting drunk!!
"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or stow away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they." Matthew 6:26