Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Manna from Heaven

The front yard had a big shade tree.  Every summer I would take my lawn chair and sit beneath it to read, relax, and catch the breeze.  It was covered with green things at certain times of the year that I didn't think too much about assuming they were horse chestnuts or some other strange and poisonous thing.  The blue jays also loved the tree and I loved watching the blue jays from the kitchen window.  This picture is much like the tree that was in my own yard. 

A number of years passed and I mowed around the tree without giving it a second thought.

I don't know what happened, it must have been the weather conditions or just a day for me to have a special treat.

I walked out and all the green outer shells had burst and as I walked under the tree much to my surprise and delight the entire ground was covered with WALNUTS!  I was so taken aback that at first I wondered how they got there and who would have scattered walnuts in my yard.  Some days I am not as bright as others to be sure but I guess having lived there already for a number of years and not been aware that I lived with a walnut tree it caught me off guard.  You see, the blue jays had caught on to a secret and not yet told me.

It was so exciting!  Imagine going out in the morning and finding a yard full of nuts.  It was like Easter eggs.  I went and grabbed a bucket and started gathering them all up.  First I filled a pan, and then another, and then went and got a 5 gallon bucket and filled that too!

Although I have always loved plants, animals, and trees until that moment I don't think I really realized just how magical they really are.  Maybe the better word is miraculous.  The experience filled me with childhood wonder.  Of course it sounds silly.  I was almost 50 and had picked apples off the trees since I was a child and still have the scar on my foot from falling out of the tree that dad sent me up.  But walnuts!  Now that was just something else again. 

Since that time I have a new goal on my list.  I want to plant a nut orchard on my acreage back home.  It may not be this year but the time will come.  And, not only walnuts but also filberts and any other nut tree I can get my hands on.  I'm not sure that I have tasted a Filbert but I like the name, it sounds like a cartoon character and is fun to say.

At this point I could go into the varieties of nut trees available, the growing conditions, the protein they contribute to the diet and other health benefits and at some point I probably will.  But for today let me just say that if it looks like this:

It may be a Walnut tree.


Practical Parsimony said...

Pecans are delicious. My childhood was filled with picking up pecans where we lived. I still miss the dozen or so trees we had. Even at my age, I am filled with wonder still at things trees give me. Are you going to plant apple trees, too, and other fruit trees?

Carol Schultz said...

I have apple trees and hope to add more varieties, prunes, pears, and lots of blueberries. I hope to select varieties that do well in that area with little attention.

Anonymous said...

Good morning. The first home my parents bought when I was 9 came complete with three peach trees. Annual treat! Great reminder that it is the things that are in our own yard that can deliver the simple pleasures, even unexpectedly! Thank you

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this article. You have in the pic of nuts an English Walnut but that is NOT what your tree is. The nuts from it look more like from a Butternut tree. They don't look as round shaped as a Black Walnut does. Have picked up both, both different in taste & both wonderful tasting! Isn't it wonderful what GOD has made for us???

Carol Schultz said...

Love peaches! They don't do as well in our part of the country.

The tree in the picture is not the specific tree from our yard but looks very similar. The nuts themselves were definately the standard English Walnuts. That was why I was puzzled at first wondering who would have put them in my yard.