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Ramble with Storm: The irresistible hedge apple

Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

Now, there’s four hedge apples on the back side of the town pond.

They truly are irresistible.

I suspect that kids doing their getaway rambles during the town’s big festival this weekend found the hedge apples and couldn’t resist throwing them.

That’s my theory anyway. Because by the end of last week, there was at least a dozen spread around. And now we are down to four.

It’s not the squirrels ripping them apart. They usually don’t do that until winter.

In the old days, Osage orange, the non-native trees that drop the hedge apples, were planted as fencerows and windbreaks. I suspect the trees are remnants of an old-time fencerow. A memory of what was here.

My wife believes, at least to some degree, in the magical powers of hedge apples. She believes they help in the house. So I carry one home every now and then as the meathead and I return.

OK, it looks a little odd to walk through the streets of town carrying a hedge apple in hand. But then most people don’t ramble around every morning and mull things, either.

I can live with being a little odd.

To me, hedge apples look like the green softballs that girls sometimes use in practice.

They are also known as hedge balls, horse apple, green brains, monkey balls and mock orange, according to hedgeapple.com.

I love that there is a hedgeapple.com. Just seems right in this day and age.

And I did not know this, but it is a cousin to the mulberry tree, according to the site.

There is something in the hedge apple to consider about the nature of native and non-native. But it is more than I care to mull this morning.