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October 14, 2009

Fall Fruit

We have a couple persimmon trees on the edge of the hayfield. This is the first year I've seen fruit on them; they are small trees and I've often wondered what kind they are. Persimmons aren't good until after the first frost, but from what I've seen along the roadsides, they are often gone by then, eaten by coyotes.


Sumac berries
Supposedly you can make a lemonade type drink from these. The shrubby trees have the most colorful leaves in the landscape, a deep red that reminds me of autumn in Maine or Michigan.

Poke berries
Poisonous to humans

Osage oranges
The fruit from the bois d'arc ("bodark") tree is also called hedge apples, horse apples, and my personal favorite because it's what my son calls them, "gum gum fruits" (it's a Neopets thing). These are large bumpy brain-looking things, the size of a large grapefruit. I'd never seen them before we moved here to Oklahoma, so I asked my neighbor what they were and if they were good for anything. "Cows'll eat 'em," he said. I've learned that horses will too, but they aren't good for people. There are male and female trees, and of course only the female trees bear fruit. The wood is used to make bows and fence posts.

Fall sunset

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