The Osage-orange has long fascinated me. My brother has one along his creek line, and this photo was taken along the creek line at my parent’s house. The Osage-orange tree ranges from 40–60 feet high and has a short trunk with a round-topped head. The juice is milky and acrid. The roots are thick, fleshy, and covered with bright orange bark. The fruit has a pleasant and mild odor, but is inedible.
The Osage-orange was commonly used as a tree row windbreak in prairie states. It was one of the primary trees used in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Great Plains Shelterbelt” WPA project. This project was launched in 1934 as an ambitious plan to modify weather and prevent further soil erosion in the Great Plains states. By 1942, more than 220 million trees stretched 18,600 miles creating shelterbelts. The sharp-thorned trees were also planted as cattle-deterring hedges before the introduction of barbed wire and afterwards became an important source of fence posts.
The wood is prized for tool handles, treenails, fence posts, and other applications requiring a strong stable wood that can withstand rot. Straight-grained osage timber, most is knotty and twisted, makes very good bows and was prized by the Plains Indians.
This photos was taken on my Thanksgiving day hike. The composition and the richness of the limited color palette really works and captured the light perfectly.
Here is a Carolina Chickadee from On the Bench #3. The Carolina Chickadee lives in Indiana year-round and is very similar to the Black-capped Chickadee found further north. It has a black cap and bib and white cheeks. It’s call is actually a fast chick-a-dee-dee-dee. It is common in open deciduous forests, woodland clearings, and suburban areas. The Carolina Chickadee feeds in trees and thickets and rarely descends to the ground.
This ornament is carved from balsa wood. It is very light and perfect as a Christmas tree ornament. I like the nice golden Fall glow in the background of this image.
I went out for a wonderful walk through the woods this afternoon at my parent’s house. As a kid, it was a great playground and still is. It used to seem so much larger and take forever to get to our final destination. It may have been all the stops we made to build shanty structures. They have all rotted away since then.
This photo is of a path that the deer have created to their water source. That too was rarely seen as a kid. It was just too far!
How’s that for a sturdy birdhouse pole? The afternoon sunlight was really radiating in from the south.