wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Last Show

The maple tree overhanging the driveway is almost finished changing colour. Soon it will shed its colourful dress and stand there shivering in bare limbs. The tiny dogwood in the foreground is also getting ready to drop its leaves. One last show of colour and it too will be done.

Here is the maple closer up. A few leaves still have a bit of green but most have turned a golden yellow or orange.

The laceleaf Japanese maple is one of the first to turn reddish-orange. It is normally green, unlike some Japanese maples that are a purple colour for all of its growing season.

This black walnut is an ornamental tree (meaning that the walnuts are not meant to be eaten, like the regular walnuts we know). But the squirrels like them.

These walnuts have a thick green outer shell that peels away, revealing what looks like a regular walnut. The shell, however, is so thick that it takes a sledge hammer to crack it. And yet, that is exactly what I do for the squirrels. They don’t seem to mind the bitter taste of the meaty inside parts.

The video below shows this ornamental black walnut tree losing its leaves to the cool breezes that gust up now and then. The main whoosh of leaves is well into the video, so if you can spare 30 seconds of your life to watch, you’ll see this tree giving it up for another season.

 


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Primary Colours and Walnuts

Obsessed by sky watching these past eclipsical (is that a word?) days, I found it interesting that the sky separated into the three primary colours of blue, red, and yellow. Where they overlap, there is a hint of what you get when you mix those colours – yellow and red = orange; red and blue = purple; but I couldn’t get the blue to meet the yellow for green, so not quite a rainbow effect. Still, a pretty good selection for a painter’s palette.

The black walnut (see photo below)  in our front yard has a bit of history. I bought it 25 years ago, thinking it was a walnut tree (the kind that gets walnuts on it). Well, it does get walnuts, but you have to use a sledgehammer to open them and there isn’t a whole lot of meat inside the thick, rock hard shells.

When the Captain and I planted the walnut tree, it was just a five-foot stick. Our yard was bare – no landscaping yet – and it was late February, cool and drippy. The neighbours walked past as we dug a hole in the mud and put this “stick” in the ground, and applauded. I think they thought it was a joke – poking fun at ourselves for the bare front yard.

Now, 25 years later, that stick is a beautiful black walnut. I’m guessing it’s over thirty feet tall. The walnuts are still not meant to be eaten, as it’s more of an ornamental tree. But I did go out and buy another walnut tree for the back yard. It’s almost as tall as the ornamental one but this one gets the kind of walnuts you can eat.

The two types of walnut trees have completely different leaves too.

Here, below, is the tree with edible walnuts.

In the photo below, you can see the walnuts on the tree.

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They are still encased in their green shell, but those coatings break open as the nuts ripen and fall when the weather turns chilly. A nutcracker will do the trick for opening these walnuts. No sledgehammer needed.