Wednesday, February 02, 2011


We were walking around the center of town yesterday, waiting for my car to be smogged. Our town has a tiny down town, abutted by residential streets characterized by little bitty, well-kept houses and soaring street trees.

On one corner, I was intrigued by a drift of dried leaves of a type I didn't know -- narrow, serrated, peculiarly dark. I looked up and didn't immediately recognize the tall tree, but noted that it had some kind of casing as fruit, that had split open and dropped ... small oval nuts.

I looked at them scattered around on the ground, the sidewalk, the street gutter. Bernie stepped on one of them and it cracked readily.

"Pecans!" I squeaked, and tasted the golden meat inside the shell. Delicious.

We filled the center section of my purse where my camera normally travels.

I had never seen a pecan tree before in my life. And yet here is this tree, producing tasty fruit, unpraised and uncollected, for what has to have been many years. Most likely no one remembers what kind of a tree it is; that's part of our Convenience Society. Pecans are annoying to shell, especially if they aren't the large commercially grown ones you see in stores at Thanksgiving and Christmas. And who do you know who goes around gathering nuts and fruit fallen from trees any more?

Well, now you know two: me and Bernie. I plan on visiting this tree later in the spring to see the nature of its green foliage ... and to tell it that it's still doing a good job.


Cheryl said...

Finally, something plant-related that I recognized before you did! Pecan trees are all over my ancestral homeland in Southern Oklahoma. They are my favorite nut, hands down, even if I have to crack them myself.

Alexandra said...

I remember as a kid, I had a "windfall" bike route thru the neighborhood. I wouldn't pick anything, but I'd cruise for oranges, plums and whatnot that were laying on sidewalks or on the alley side of fences.

Satisfies the primate centers of the brain. The only better activity is shaking tree branches and hooting at a cat (there being a regretful lack of leopards to harass).