Sunday, August 30, 2009

Buckeyes


This is yesterday's drawing - another from Waynesville, NC. It was so nice to be in the cool, lush mountains after suffering the hot, rainy Florida beach for a week and then the hot and dry SC piedmont. It has been raining plenty in Waynesville, according to my happy (and new) flower garden that goes unwatered while we're away.

I took a walk mid-afternoon down Raspberry Lane to see if the old garden down at the end might have some surprises for me. Instead, my surprise came when I reached the spot where the huge Buckeye Tree grows above the road. Scattered around the base were a dozen or so big nuts very recently fallen. I thought they started falling late Sept or even in October. The exterior of the cases I found were still a little green, and some hadn't dried enough to split open yet. Some popped open in my hand as I picked them up.

Buckeyes are a most beautiful nut when they are fresh. I usually pick them up without the case, from where they have bounced or fallen out after the case dries out. It was fun finding the why's and wherefores of the sizes of the nuts by examining the cases. They all seem to have at least two, sometimes three, and even four nuts in one case, but the largest nuts have grabbed all the nutrients and left the second nut with none (see picture) whereas two equal nuts grow in something like this yin/yang case. I opened the largest case later last night and found four funky shaped nuts inside. These often have one flat side where they've pressed up against another nut.

I have a big red bowl full of nuts from the last two years. They save well, with only an occasional cracked or moldy ones discarded. Yesterday I tossed four that were bad, but added eight new ones.


1 comment:

G. McCracken said...

I've been trying to find three buckeye seeds or nuts - one for each of my sons and one for my brother. My father was born in 1895 in Yancy County and always carried a buckeye in his pocket for luck. He died in 1975 and I've been looking for the nuts for several years. I would love to put them in stockings for my sons and brother this Christmas. Gayle Tuttle

tuttle.gayle@gmail.com