One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Nutmeg told you to watch out for falling walnuts, but these are far worse! Have you seen them by the roadsides? Do you know what they are?

Mystery #73

Have a guess and we’ll give you the answer later

~~~

A special note:

Our Squirrel Nutwork readers know we have a Field Correspondent in the Front Range of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Nutmeg and I have stuck close to our computer these last few days since Coney called in the middle of the night to tell us the creek beneath his Ponderosa Pine had risen to the top of its banks in a matter of hours, and that he had to leave to move to higher ground.

Though Coney writes and shows locations throughout the northern portion of the state, Jamestown, Colorado is his home. Flooding devastated the community.

He wrote, “Last night was tough. It rained hard. This is not a 100 year flood nor a 500 year flood. I would describe it as a geologic event.”

Coney is still waiting for the last storm to move through the state today, to learn if there is more damage. Our hearts are heavy, but the mountain humans are a strong lot. Like the wildlife, they have stayed on the move, forging new paths where the water covered their roads and removed their bridges. They are helping each other to deal with their losses and plan their future.

But we know it’s not like having a leaf nest; this will take time. Coney says he’s come to like living with these humans and will return to stick it out if they do. He hopes he can send a report, but has no idea when that may be. (To see his older posts, put ‘Colorado’ or ‘Coney’ in the search bar.)

Our thoughts are with Coney and Jamestown and all of Colorado, and we at The Squirrel Nutwork send our best wishes for your recovery.

~~~

And we had a correct answer today! The round ball fruit and the tree go by the same name—Osage Orange, Maclura pomifera.

Osage Orange

We squirrels will eat the seeds of the Osage Orange –if we’re desperate…or bored. It’s a lot of work to get to them, and they aren’t tasty. It’s not a poisonous plant, but here at The Squirrel Nutwork we never recommend you eat what you fid in the wild based on advice from a squirrel!

Ol’ Wally tells me Osage Orange also goes by Hedge Apple. The tree was widely planted as a windbreak in hedge rows. It’s a spreading tree, that’s also spread out of its native habitat in Texas, so can be seen along roadsides.

Osage Orange

Osage Orange

Thanks for playing today!

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One thought on “One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

  1. Well yes, it’s osage. They are really neat inside if you cut one open. Up here in Pa, there aren’t too many of them. But I did discover one dropping the fruit years ago when I was out for a walk, and had to know what it was, so I did some research. That would hurt for sure if it hit you when it fell!

    I hope Coney and his whole state can be ok and soon able to have that devastation stop and recovery begin. So much has happened there.

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