We’re going on an Osage Orange hunt.
We’re going to catch a big one.
What a beautiful day!
We’re not scared…
It wasn’t exactly a bear hunt, but it was an urban adventure!
Osage Orange Edible
I spotted an Osage Orange tree on Saturday evening. It’s located off NE 36th Street and Lincoln Boulevard. On Sunday morning and with an hour to spare (thanks to Daylight Savings Time), we took the kids to check it out. They were pretty excited to discover a tree with gigantic green balls. They wanted to eat them, but the Osage Orange is inedible unless you’re a squirrel.
Osage Orange, Hedge Apple, Monkey Balls, Green Brains, Bowdarks
You can eat the seeds, but each one is surrounded by a slimy husk and you have to rip apart the stringy, tough fruit just to get to them. I say let the squirrels have them. Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can chunk them at a fence or concrete wall and totally delight in the thunk!
The Osage Orange grows primarily in the Red River Valley of southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. As you probably guessed, the name comes from the Osage tribe, which settled near the home range of the trees.
They go by other names, too, including monkey balls, green brains, bowdarks and hedge apples. There is a terrific article about them on the Great Plains Nature Center site.
This photo of the kids (above) is probably one of the worst pictures I’ve ever taken. It’s also the one I wanted the most. It’s a real bummer when it works out that way. It was chilly and the sun was staring them straight in the face.
It occurred to me after I took it (and this one below of Robert and Bridgette) just how much our family truly loves The Navy Blue Jacket.
Our family also loves autumn, and the Osage Orange is a great sign that fall is heavy on the branches. Happy November!
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows....The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring. — Elizabeth Coatsworth
As I expressed earlier today on Facebook, I seem to vacillate between being someone who is annoyed by people who do stuff like this (cutely stacked pumpkins and an Osage orange for good measure!) and being “a people” who does stuff like this. So, which one are you? 😉
Osage Orange Tree
Osage oranges grow throughout Oklahoma. I live in Oklahoma County, but I bet you can find them in Osage County where I lived as a teenager. The county is now famous thanks to a movie starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, August in Osage County.