Do you know what this is? It’s a hedge apple and this has been a banner year for them. The hedge apple is the fruit of the Osage Orange tree and is a native tree in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas where the Osage Indians lived and thus the name. Ranchers once planted the trees as hedges that served as fences since livestock wouldn’t go through them. With the invention of barbed wire, this practice faded away.
Now, the Osage Orange tree has spread to many other states including Kentucky. When I was a kid, the farm where I grew up had two hedge apple trees. Now hedge apples are on the ground everywhere on that farm. So far we don’t have any of the trees on our farm just over the hill and my husband is hoping it stays that way. Osage orange trees are good for some things but can be a pest tree because of the bushy growth and their spiky half inch spines that makes cutting them a chore. The yellow looking wood is extremely hard, heavy, durable and doesn’t shrink or swell very much compared to the wood of other trees. That makes the wood good for fence posts, some furniture and archery bows. In fact, many archers consider the wood of the Osage-orange to be the world’s finest wood for bows.
You can often see hedge apples for sale at Farmers Markets since it has long been believed that placing hedge apples around your foundation or in your basement will keep insects, especially spiders, away. I tried it once. I still had spiders. But a university study did find that the concentrated extracted juice from the fruit could repel insects. However, the natural level of these compounds in the fruit are too low to be effective. But on that farm where I grew up, bugs may be in trouble with all those hedge apples decorating the ground.
So now you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about hedge apples and you may be wondering why I got off on such a tangent. That’s because I started to use this as a mystery picture, but I decided it might not be fair since some of you might have no idea what a hedge apple even was. But it’s a cute picture of my daughter’s dog wanting to play fetch. Riggs always wants to play fetch and he’s not too particular about what he fetches.
The Mystery is Solved
The mystery photo game is over. Thank you all for playing. I had fun reading your guesses. And once again I came up with a real stumper with this last picture. Nobody got it right and I wouldn’t have either. It really does look like burlap or some other kind of weave. Or a honeycomb. Or cheesecloth or kitchen scrubber. That’s what I would have guessed. Three of you said a snake skin and that was a great guess. Wrong, but a great guess. The most imaginative guesses this time belonged to Rebecca who said it was rippling creek water and to Laura who saw icing drizzled on pastry. Of course, Karen’s shredded wheat and Becky’s bee wing were great guesses too. Okay, so what was it? It’s a very close-up view of one of this hydrangea’s dried petals. You know, the whole thing looks like a sink scrubber or maybe a bath scrubber. But I promise it’s a hydrangea bloom my daughter picked off one of her bushes.
On to the Winners
I’ve contacted the three winners already. Margie J of Ky picked Angel Sister to give to a friend because of how she loved the Rosey Corner books. Shirley B from FL picked Orchard of Hope because she had already read most of my other books. Laura S. from Maryland chose Words Spoken True.
I do appreciate all of you playing my game, reading my posts and making comments. And if you didn’t win, since unfortunately I could only pick three winners, more chances to win are coming your way. I’ll be visiting Rose McCauley’s blog on Friday and giving away a book there. Then the fun Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt is coming up next week with many many prizes along with chances to learn about some great new books.
One More Thing
If you live in the Shepherdsville, KY area, I will be at the Bullit County Library Author Faire along with many other authors on Saturday, October 14th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It would be fun to see you.
As always, thanks for reading.