Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Walnut Harvesting in East Texas

Inspired by a post on the Homegrown.org social network about walnuts I decided to go to the walnut tree outside our  yard and gather as many as I could find.  Rarely does anyone go to this part of our property except for my occasional mowing which keeps if from turning into mess of thorny vines and small trees.  I also wander past once and while to a check a section of the branch to see if it has flowing water.  I have seen a fair amount of snakes right under the tree and when I got under the cover of the tree I scanned the open area  for fallen walnuts and snakes.  Being so vigilant about these things I failed to notice that I was standing in a pile of ants. The worst part of standing in a ant pile is that your boots will be covered in ants before you feel the first bite. East Texas is full of bugs that bite or sting.  Growing up in California I never appreciated the lack of fire ants. 

I have no idea what kinda of bug this is in my picture.  I had reached up and grabbed a branch to pull it close enough to get at the walnuts and when I pulled it in front of my eyes I saw this guy.  Not paying attention I had almost wrapped my hand around it.  I guessing some type of caterpillar and I don't think it would have a bite, but around here everything else does.  It was while I was trying to take his picture when I felt the first ant bite and saw them crawling all over my boots.   I had to go the kids from school in a minute so brushed off as many as I could and finished filling my bucket.  I will have to back tomorrow to fill another bucket.  Since they are black walnuts they will take a good deal of work to get the nuts out, but like most things out here it is worth the a couple ant bites and a little extra effort.

1 comment:

  1. While growing up in Southwest Missouri we had a large Black Walnut tree in our yard. I loved that tree - the scent of the walnuts wrapped in that green globe is very distinctive. Maine doesn't have Walnut trees and it's one of the things I really miss.