Saturday, November 21, 2015

Osage oranges

osage orange tower Tropical hibiscus in background

new ceramic vase on mantle with pine lights
stool next to front door so guests can more easily take off and put on footwear
carnival glass vase that almost matches my glass pumpkin that a dear friend sent me
still considering this end table. I like it but will the cool aluminum match the warm woods and gold walls

Osage oranges are not oranges but are related to mulberries. They do give off a citrusy aroma that supposedly repels insects and spiders. I had left some in my car overnight and instead of the mildew smell, everything smelled orangy. The wood packs more BTUs than any other wood and is very strong. It is used to make bows and axe handles. The tree is also known as hedge apple because the branches are very dense and thorny keeping cattle contained.
Although the tree is fairly common in the Plains states or wherever the Osage Indians lived and is considered a pest tree, I rarely see them around here and I am out and about a lot. I did come across this mammoth tree last Sunday on my bike ride with just piles of osage oranges rolling over into the road across from an apple orchard that looks like they only got around to picking a fraction of the apples (very good year for apples here). While I was researching this, I noticed someone was selling them 3 for $5. At that rate, I could make hundreds of dollars. Although I won't go into business, I did pick some of them up yesterday, probably not wise in such strong winds as the tree still was laden with them. They are the size and hardness of a softball. They are not really edible though deer will eat them in a pinch. Unlikely as right next to them are much tastier apples.
My last experience with them was years ago before we were married. There was a tree on Broadway hallway between our apartment and the North Campus gym right in front of a residential treatment center for disturbed male teenagers. The kids were out and started pelting me with them. They looked too big to be black walnuts. They hurt. I called the head of the place to request that he keep his patients contained. The boys were forced to apologize. Not much later the place was shut down due to all sorts of scandals.
All yesterday, there were warnings of the big snow that would leave up to 8 inches by daybreak. Our sub put the snow sticks to line the roads and many people, including Steve lined their driveways. I worried that Naomi would get stuck as she has to drive far late at night but by this morning, the roads were merely wet and the grass had a dusting of snow though it is still snowing and starting to accumulate. Aside from my run this morning, I will be hunkered down inside today. Plenty to do here.
Yesterday though I was out for a day of shopping and lunch with my good friend. We explored Brighton, a very cute town. And I did pick up some fun stuff.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

At first glance I thought the osage orange tower was made up of well chewed tennis balls.
I hope you can stay safe and warm as the snow falls.


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