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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Basswood Mystery

basswood seed pod
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.

basswood tree
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!


Rick (Ratty) said...

I would say that maybe an animal carried it there, but I don't see any tracks. I hope you solve the mystery.

Unknown said...

It could have hitched a ride on someone or an animal. Love this post! Hope you find the mystery Basswood.

wenn said...

merry christmas!

Auntie E said...

so now you will be watching out for it,huh.
I have enjoyed visiting your blog.
I have a song for you on my At home site, a special Christmas morning treat on my Kitchen site and a Christmas card on my Garden site. Have a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

I bet this tree is beautiful in spring and summer..Hope you will find the mystery!

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

The Oceanside Animals said...

Hmm, this reminds me of how we used to play "Spot The American Elm That Isn't Dead" when we lived in New York.

betchai said...

i hope the answer to the mystery would be a wonderful surprise sharkbytes, like maybe another one growing somewhere?

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- I don't think it could have been an animal. These really aren't dispersed that way, and there were quite a few of them nearby.

Hi AL- I will explore- at least I'll teach myself to find basswood bark and buds, eh?

wenn- thank you

Hi Auntie E- Yes, I like yours too. I don't seem to get there every day, but I'll check out your posts.

Icy- I'm hoping to get some better pictures in the leafy seasons

Dennis- Yes, that is quite a game. Is it American or Slippery? Look for the ice cream sandwich bark.

Betchai- Yes, that would be great! I suspect it was just a good east wind at the right time though.