The Bodark Tree, (or My Discovery of Monkey Brain Fruit in Welland, Ontario)

Wow! Just when I thought I knew, (more or less), about all the flora and fauna that surrounds me in my general vicinity, I made an astonishing discovery.

On our way for a nice walk on the boardwalk on Beverdams Pond; my husband insisted that we turn back because he saw quinces on the ground.

I told him that we don’t usually grow quince in Canada, as far as I know; maybe in the warm parts of British Columbia.

So, ( we never made our walk that day); we found the monkey brain fruit all over the ground. (It is otherwise known as Osage orange, or hedge apple.)

They looked like quinces, or large yellow apples, but had this weird brain cell-like covering.

So I found out, that they are commonly found in the southern United States, and you can’t eat the fruit.

The wood was prized by the Indigenous people and early settlers for bows and tools. It was also used as a natural fence, until barbed wire was invented.

Anyway; completely fascinating. The seeds must have been brought up to Canada by early American settlers because the trees, bordering the road, were very large.

P.S. Just to make it a little more weird; there is a theory that the only animals that really loved its fruit are now extinct; making it a very interesting anachronism, and history lesson prompt.

P.P.S. The fruit, apparently, also contains latex; so that was important for waterproofing.

The Comfort Maple

We recently paid our respects to the Comfort Maple; a 500-year-old sugar maple tree in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. It is believed to be the oldest sugar maple in the country.

When the tree started its life, the Indigenous People were the only people here. They had their own culture and religion and traditions worthy of respect and emulation.

If I could only interview this tree; it would be an interview of a lifetime! What a book and what a movie that would be!

I bet this precious tree gave some lovely sweet maple syrup in its lifetime.

Preservation and conservation are essential.

The Death of a Tree

The man in the yellow helmet in the cherry picker has arrived. I saw him at the neighbours down the street. At first I thought he was working on the hydro lines, but then he started cutting the tree.

I thought, at first, that he was just giving it a trim, but then he kept on going. “He’s going to cut the whole tree down,” my husband said. “No, he can’t do that!” I said.

But then he did. Branch by branch. It was too horrible to watch. It was like something living was being killed. Which it was.