Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Groovy Green

For the simplest of outdoor holiday decorations, try a stack of the exotic looking, yellow-green, fruits of the Maclura pomifera tree. These inedible orbs, vaguely resembling brain models, are commonly known as osage oranges. The trees were originally grown on the plains as hedge-like boundaries. They are also known as hedgeapple trees. The fruit of the tree is said to help repel insects and spiders. Far from the plains, yet near this address, many people with these female trees find the droppings a nuisance. If, on the other hand, you see the green oranges on the ground and find them a delightful curiosity, offer to help scoop them up. They will last several weeks in outdoor decorations. With their beautiful shape and color, they look great in a bowl, flower pot or urn for an easy and elegant arrangement. Easy and green!

You may recall the pumpkin colorfully poised on this urn earlier this season. The pumpkin lasted long past Halloween, and offered a lite snacking spot for the local squirrel(s). They snacked so voraciously, that over a period of a few days before Thanksgiving, they ate through the shell and made an opening about 5 inches in diameter, close to the top. I mentioned the pumpkin may be ready for the compost heap to the resident composter. I was grateful it had lasted so long and offered a splash of color to the increasingly monochromatic early winter landscape. A day later the handsome composter told me of finding the pumpkin on the urn with a surprised squirrel snacking inside it.

Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater,
Had a squirrel and couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell
And there he kept her very well.

In this story, the squirrel ran away and the pumpkin was cut up and composted, very well. A happy green ending, after all!

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