Friday, February 03, 2006
Tank(s) for the memories
By The Erudite Redneck
In ninth grade, Mr. B had us collect, mount and identify 20 leaves for a collection, for a possible 100 points, each leaf and description counting for five points.
He was a hard taskmaster, Mr. B was. If ANYTHING was incorrect or incomplete about an entry, off went the whole five points.
Which is why, when, I took a leaf from one of this pair of trees, wrote out a description and labeled it "Bodark," I got docked 5 points.
The correct spelling, and alternative names for this tree, which produces wood good for fence posts and fruit good for nothing, is?
(Photos by ER at the ER homeplace, eastern Oklahoma.)
on him. I had him for 3 classes
before I got out of high school.
Thanks for the memories brought
back. I like the pictures too.
The fruit IS good for something. It is a natural repellant of roaches and other bugs.
The Bodark was named for the fact that it was used to make the bows of the Indians in Arkansas Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska etc.. It was actually a trade item as far back as the Missippian Mound culture. I have a bow stave up in my studio ready to carve down to a bow. I have even taken a class to do so. So it is on my agenda, along with several dozen other projects. Lewis and Clark were the first to gather seeds of the Osage Orange and send them back to Jefferson who planted some on his farm at Monticello. He thought they would be useful as European type Hedges to keep in livestock in that their needles along and sharp as I can personally attest. It took so long for the scientific part of their journals to be published that they got no credit for finding it at all. A dude named MacLurer put his name on it.
The seeds are god to eat but take so much work to get them out of that sticly ball that they are hardly worth the effort. Squirrels love them however.
Horses also like them (thus another name Horse Apple) and the Indians sometimes harvested them for use as winter forage. The Pawnee would keep a stash of them in their earth lodges along with their horses and that is where the insect repellant value of the fruit was discovered.
The prime use of Bodark in my youth was as fence post. They just wouldn't rot. But logs big enough to split always split crooked a twisted, and the wood was so hard, that to drive a wire steeple into them was dangerous to the fingers. My Dad always had an extra bunch of Bodark fence post and he would stack them up like a teepee to keep them clean and dry.
Great fun to play under them.
I wrote a story about an apple tree that wouldn't bear fruit over at my new blog
Last night while tryinmg to get into my blog, I stumbled across a mention of my blog over at the Huffington Post. errrg
These were about the size of grapefruit.
They are good for a little amusing distraction when brush-hogging! :-)
That fruit, is it anything like a pomegranate? (Common projectile used by young boys).
Hey, I believe that's the first photo I've ever seen of the rich soil that produced ya.
And, for us, Green Brain Tree is what we called them growing up.
GP said : "That fruit, is it anything like a pomegranate? (Common projectile used by young boys)."
Talk about memories! When they are green they are as hard as a softball as someone said before. So they are a bit worse that pomegrnantes which I have fought with in Southern California.
But this brought to mind the Spring time ritual of Clod Fighting, and all the glory and defeats that such brought during my younger days.
Any old Clod Fighters out there?