Sunday, December 5, 2010

Osage Orange: The Weapon of Choice

Posted By on Sun, Dec 5, 2010 at 2:21 PM

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I came across this tree in the left rough on the fourth hole at Pine Hill golf course this week. (Yes, I have a bit of a duck hook on occasion.) It's an Osage orange, also known as a hedge apple or bois d'arc. Its wood is extremely strong and was used by native Americans to make bows (hence bois d'arc). The fruit is green and wrinkly while on the tree, but in the fall it turns yellow and litters the ground under its branches. It's heavy, and when I was a kid we used hedge apples as "bombs" in our war games. When they get ripe, they soften and "explode" on impact. Very cool.

Fall was a great time for Missouri country boys like me to find nature's weapons. We pulled fireweed stalks from the ground and used them as spears. Walnuts became excellent grenades. Ripe persimmons made for a primitive paintball weapon. Good times. These kids today and their fancy-schmancy transformer X-Box crap. I tell ya ...

I hefted one of these guys at Pine Hill and gave it a shotput heave for old times' sake.

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