Strawberries in the Desert

Story telling from Australia

Seeds of doubt

The damage was slight, just a small dent in the car. And the culprit? A seedpod.

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It wasn’t just any old seedpod. This was a nine-inch whopper weighing in at a fraction under a pound, or twenty-four centimetres and three hundred and fifty grams – massive whichever way you look at it. The pod contained five milk-white globes, tucked up together like smooth chestnuts. Only bigger.

A quick look up confirmed the pod had dropped from a tree at the front of house. I have no idea what species of tree it is, but a few months ago it carried a display of bright orange flowers that attracted nectar-loving rainbow lorikeets by the dozen. Now it contains a large number of seedpods, waiting to fall on unsuspecting passers-by.

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I worried that visitors might be felled before they reached the front door and thought about putting up a sign. I told friends to watch out if they were planning to call. Inga rang the doorbell carrying an open umbrella. Needless to say, it wasn’t raining.

When a journalist arranged to visit for an interview about Love in the Outback I sent a text message, warning her that giant seedpods could fall from the sky as she approached the front door.

She arrived without mishap, seemingly unconcerned about the looming threat, and when she left I jokingly said, ‘Mind they don’t get you on the way out.’

She looked at me blankly. ‘The text message about giant seedpods,’ I reminded her.

‘What text message?’

It turns out I got the number wrong. I sent the warning to a random stranger, who even now might be wandering around Sydney worried that a giant seedpod is about to fall on his (or her) head.

It would be poetic justice if that person worked for Monsanto, but life rarely works out in such a neatly satisfying way. It will probably hit me. Or Clyde. Of course, there’s always the possibility that one of those giant seedpods could hit someone visiting the house.

Hopefully this blog will indemnify me. Or incriminate me.

Maybe I need a lawyer?

Either way, watch out if you’re planning to visit us any day soon.

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PS Does anyone know what this tree is?

18 comments on “Seeds of doubt

  1. Louise
    April 17, 2014

    Could be Royal Poinciana? X

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      April 27, 2014

      Sorry Louise, this ended up in spam for some reason. Thx for the suggestion but the seed pods look more like long boomerangs on royal poinciana (I sound knowledgeable don’t I? Google gets the credit.) It looks like a gorgeous tree though and I’d plant it if I had room! x

      Like

  2. Maggie Wilson
    April 17, 2014

    That was fun! Especially the Monsanto part.
    The threat from “seeds above” in our yard is from the black walnuts. Our neighbour has a seating area covered with a heavy canvas canopy. When the walnuts dropped, they pierced the canvas as if it were tissue. Quite the hazard! One by one, we are removing the threats.

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      April 17, 2014

      Wow, what an exotic sounding tree – and perilous! Sounds like the umbrella trick’s not going to work then. I’ve been leaning out the from the upstairs balcony, swatting them with a long pole.

      Like

      • Maggie Wilson
        April 17, 2014

        Isn’t that funny? I thought YOUR tree was exotic! You be careful, there, young lady, swatting from the upstairs balcony!

        Like

  3. sharonmcintosh
    April 17, 2014

    I love your writing. You could make any experience sound enchanting. And funny. I am so glad to read every post. Is the launch for Love in the Outback still set for Primero de mayo?
    Have a terrific week and keep an eye on those alien pods. Sharon

    Like

  4. quarteracrelifestyle
    April 17, 2014

    Lol, funny – and what huge seed pods, never seen anything like it.

    Like

  5. nantubre
    April 17, 2014

    can’t wait for the new book. And no, I have no idea what those pods are. In fact, I don’t even know what a lorikeet looks like, 🙂

    Like

  6. debhuntinbrokenhill
    April 17, 2014

    Thx Nan, I think I’ll take one to the garden centre and see what they make of it

    Like

  7. django zazou
    April 18, 2014

    Yeah, I’ve seen that film: a dangerously mutated cutting falls out of the back of a chemical company van, takes root in a suburb and a mysterious tree grows. Eventually seeds develop, so huge that they’re the subject of jokey blogs, but which in time hatch out into gigantic killer sprouts that eat humans and wreak revenge for two millennia of Christmas dinner outrages. Don’t say you weren’t warned!

    Like

    • debhuntinbrokenhill
      April 18, 2014

      And then those humanoid monsters develop the power of intercontinental travel, their gruesome nightly journeys stretching as far as the North Yorkshire moors. Merry Christmas

      Like

      • Django Zazou
        April 19, 2014

        No sprout will ever cross my threshold! Even the normal ones have evil intent!

        Like

  8. bluebrightly
    April 19, 2014

    Love the comment about Monsanto! 🙂

    Like

  9. rthepotter
    April 21, 2014

    No idea whatever – but they don’t look as if they need encouraging!

    Like

  10. debhuntinbrokenhill
    April 23, 2014

    It explains the long pole with a ‘catching’ can nailed to the end that I found in the shed – the previous owners must have used it when the tree produced seed pods. Shame we knocked the can off and used the pole as a broom handle!

    Like

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This entry was posted on April 17, 2014 by and tagged , , , , , , , .

I'm a writer based in Australia with a passion for gardening, remote places and people with a story to tell.

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