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Wednesday, December 23, 2009
See this little guy? Do you know what it is? Of course, the title of the post might help you a bit. This is a very distinctive seed pod, of trees in the genus Tilia, which are basswood to Americans, but lime tree, or linden to British or European friends.
In the early summer, these would still be on the tree, with a small flower at the end of each of those stalks. The leaf is large and interesting, but I'll save that mystery for another day... like in summer when I can find a leaf!
Now here is the mystery. As far as I have observed, the only basswood tree anywhere in my kingdom is along the railroad tracks near our eastern property line. But I found this seed pod, and several more, far to the west by the cemetery a couple of days ago. Of course, the wind carries seed pods, but the winds are usually from the west. An east wind usually blows up a storm. Of course, it makes sense that in a strong east wind these might have blown across the fields (about 800 feet) and been dropped when the wind hit the trees at the edge of the cemetery. Still, it seems odd that I found a little cache of them in that one spot.
Here's the next part of the mystery. I wasn't aware that my basswood tree had flowered. This is kind of a sad story. We had a terrible wind storm here in 1999. One of the casualties was my large Basswood. You can see the broken trunk in this picture. The tree just snapped off about 10 feet above the ground. I cried. But since then, new shoots have grown from that stump. In the picture you have to ignore the saplings in the background and the telephone pole, but most of the angled branches are Basswood shoots. It's growing nicely! But I sure hadn't noticed that it was big enough to flower.
I may just have to hunt more carefully in the cemetery to see if I somehow have missed seeing another of these wonderful trees!