Thursday, August 12, 2010

Black Walnut Woes

A neighbor has a mature Black Walnut tree in her yard. It provides wonderful shade for about two thirds of her back yard, where we sit and have morning coffee or a glass of wine in the evening. There are two pieces of bad news about Black Walnuts:

  • They’re not a great neighbor – killing all but the hardiest of companions because of the toxin they exude. Last summer, our local paper had an article about Black Walnut trees and provided a list of “good neighbors” for Black Walnut trees.
  • They have nuts, which contain a substance that stains instantly and forever, and which the squirrels use as ammunition – whole or in parts – on unsuspecting humans who are enjoying the shade of the tree.

Sunday morning, three of us were having coffee after taking the dogs for a walk. We had been sitting and talking for a half hour or so when the bombardment began. Thwack. A whole nut hit the brick patio—close to us, but not close enough for us to move. Splat. Partial nut hit Nancy on the shoulder. She ran inside immediately to soak her white top. (She was able to get the stain out, which she attributed to her quick action.) Plunk. Direct hit into my coffee cup. We laughed at the bombardier’s perfect aim as we cleaned up the spill (and I got up to rinse and re-fill my cup).

When I got home, I noticed a stain on my right foot, which I tried (in vain) to wash off. Today is Thursday, and the stain is still there. Perhaps, with time, it will fade, like my tan summer skin. Perhaps, it won’t fade, and I’ll have a permanent reminder of a summer cup of coffee with the neighbors!


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Sorry about the direct hit to the coffee cup, but at least it wasn't a glass of wine :P A third piece of bad news is that black walnuts are also toxic to dogs, and horses.

Crazy Garden Lady said...

Hi Auntie K,

Love the idea of the squirrels pelting the unfurred with walnuts!

We don't have squirrels here, but the ring tail possums do use our roof as the gum tree super highway. It tends to freak the uninitiated out somewhat!

Related Posts with Thumbnails