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Ramble with Storm: Bonked by a hedge apple & learned responses

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

A loud kerplunk so startled the meathead and me on the back side of the town pond that he completed a 180-degree turn while leaping in the air.

A hedge apple dhad ropped just seconds after we passed.

Which, of course, made me wonder if there are any instances of people being killed or knocked out by falling hedge apples. The fruit of the Osage orange reach the size of a green softball.

If it has, I would think it would be news enough that Google would be able to find stories about that. I couldn't find any in a quick search.

Maybe other critters, other than the meathead and me, are smart enough to avoid walking under Osage orange in the fall.

Learned responses are valuable in the outdoors.

Though sometimes I think they may be dangerous.

The great blue heron, which has been feeding in the corner of the north old clay pit most mornings in the past week or so, didn't flap off this morning, Apparently, it is getting used to us. It simply took a few steps to the north, like a model on stiletto heels, and continued feeding in the shallows.

For some reason, a flock of robins was around the town pond this morning.

Otherwise, it was a quiet morning for wildlife. No squirrels. No rabbits. No doves. And the only Canada geese were ones I heard far in the distance going out or coming back from a picked cornfield.

At least we avoided being bonked by a falling hedge apple. And live to ramble another day.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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I grew up in Lombard in the 1970s with a couple hedge apple trees on our lot. Me and the neighborhood kids had a great time gathering hedge apples, then hiding behind parked cars along the street and rolling hedge apples in front of approaching cars, the goal being getting the car to squash the apple. We did enrage a few drivers which resulted in us being chased around the neighborhood but it was all in good fun.

Hey Dale, Although I don't believe they're native to the area, those trees also make great bird habitat, for loggerhead shrikes that impale their catch on the thorns especially. Keep an eye out for this to happen. Mike O'B.

I've wondered about this myself. We have several of the trees in our yard, and the hedge apples fall with a lot of force.

Today we found a hedge apple casualty. My 18 year old son has a sturdy coleman water jug, about a gallon size or so, which he uses for drinking water at work (construction). On Friday, he happened to leave it sitting on the porch. When we came home around noon today, we found it with the top broken and a hedge apple lodged in the top with about 1/4 sticking out.

The water jug wasn't knocked over or anything, it was still standing up straight. It was rather bizarre.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 2, 2012 7:43 AM.

Ramble with Storm: The irresistible hedge apple was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers and lakes around Chicago fishing is the next entry in this blog.

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