October 18, 2005

Walking Before Midnight

Cosine and Detail learned early on how to walk politely in tandem on their leashes. Detail always assumed the point position because it was his place and we all knew it. He didn't need much of a lead, just for his nose to be further along than Cosine's. I liked to hold both leashes in one hand, the two of them trotting out in front eager to see what was there to be seen. Every so often one of them would stop to sniff or pee, our orderly procession interrupted but for a moment until we all jockeyed back into our usual formation.

During their older years, there was not much walking on leashes. It got to be where the only time they even wore their collars was for a trip to the vet. I've always called their collars and leashes their "clothes," as in "let's get your clothes on Pupperinos, it's time to take a walk!" Heaven forbid they go out naked in public.

We've been walking Dudley daily of late. It makes him happy, distracts him from his single dog status, and the exercise isn't going to hurt any of us.

Our neighborhood looks different when walking because different things matter when one is afoot. Sidewalks run haphazardly, squares of connected concrete that abruptly stop at random corners necessitating crossing the street to continue. Some streets don't have sidewalks at all. Others have asphalt paths. We are a mish-mashed kinda neighborhood. I like the irregularity.

This came from a tree along our route. Wendy carried it home for me. These bizarre looking fruits are strewn around the base of the mother tree and the surrounding lawn. Others have rolled into the gutter and some are smooshed in the street. There are a ton of them! The covering is very hard; I can't bruise it with a squeeze like I could with a peach. It's a bit larger than a softball and has quite a heft to it. The texture reminds me of a brain. I want to dissect it to see what is inside. Maybe I should just stop in the street and check out a smooshed one.

Meanwhile, does anyone know what it is? Do you have them in your neighborhood?



Lunafish said...

We have them in Texas, too, but I have not seen one in quite a while. When I was in school, we would line them up on the street and watch our bus driver (a very cool hippie woman) try to run over them and make the bus skid. We called them CrabApples but I don't think that is what they really are.
Thanks for the memory.

Anonymous said...

We used to have them along the edge of our pasture when I was growing up. We called the fruit "hedge apples" and I seem to remember that the tree they grow on is called an Osage Orange Tree. As I recall, some of our horses liked to eat hedge apples and others didn't care for them at all.

chapin said...

We have them in Kansas and I've always heard them called "hedge apples." My granny used to put them up in the cabinets to keep the bugs away. I never saw a stray bug at her house so they must have worked.

Anonymous said...

They are indeed osage oranges. They're all over the place down here in NC, and are sullying our streets and sidewalks as well. Did you know they are a relative of the cannabis plant and contain small amounts of THC? My college botany professor told me that.

A said...

Nifty tidbit, Tiff! I love knowing stuff like that.. did you know that the yew tree, which is quite common and used as an ornamental, is quite poisonous (it's been used for centuries for medicines, assassinations, poison arrows, etc.), but that we get the cancer drug Taxol from it?

I'm taking a Dendrology class this semester and when I saw that photo, I got so excited. Oooo, oooo, I know that one! Alas, I was too late and others beat me to it. ;)

The Scarlet Pervygirl said...

I lived in Waco, Texas, when I was little, and we called them horse apples.

Career Guy said...

I thought "horse apples" were something very different--oh. wait. That's "road apples". Nevermind.

You've inspired another blog topic---unusual for mid-week.

SassyFemme said...

Don't know what it is, but I smiled to see we're not the only ones that call the "kids" collars their clothes. We always tell the cat she's running around like a naked hussy when she's pulled her collar off!

Anonymous said...

We called them "hedge apples", too, and kept them in the corners of our basement to keep spiders away. They work. Really.