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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Found a peanut!

     A few days ago, as I entered the side yard, I saw a crater in the soil of one of my in-development ponderosas. (I wrote about that project here.) My first thought was, "Some bird or rodent has been digging again," and thoughts of traps and poison ran thru my mind! But when I got up to the bench, I saw that the crater had not been created from above, but from below. A pair of peanut shoots were pushing up from deep in the pot!

 How did I know the seedlings were peanut plants? I could say that we used to raise peanuts when I was a boy in Ecuador, and we did. But that was fifty years ago and, honestly, I had forgotten what new peanut foliage looks like. What actually clued me in was the presence of one half of the peanut's outer hull, down in the hole!

It was obvious what had happened. People around here put out raw, unshelled peanuts for the squirrels. (We have black-phase fox squirrels that many people find handsome.) Squirrels are notorious for burying tidbits for later retrieval, and equally notorious for forgetting their caches after they bury them. Sometime in the last few weeks, a squirrel buried a whole peanut in that pot. Left alone and watered regularly, the seeds -- peanuts -- in the shell had sprouted.

I pulled out the shoots, and the remnant halves of the outer hull, and tossed them into the compost. A one-gallon Rootmaker® doesn't have space for an interloper. But a day or two later, I started to wish I'd gotten a picture of the plants first, for a post like this one.

Try again: a second set of peanut shoots appears in the ponderosa's mix.

The rest of the peanut seedling.
Yesterday, I noticed two new peanut shoots pushing up beside the same ponderosa! Investigation showed that I had not gotten the main part of one of the seedlings, and new foliage had sprouted. This time, I dug the whole thing out. But before I did, I got out the camera.

You can see the cotyledons (green arrows) in the second picture.


For any who don't know, there is a silly little song in English entitled Found a Peanut. Like One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall, it was apparently dreamed up for the purpose of whiling away the time on extremely long road trips. The first two stanzas give you the idea:

Found a peanut, found a peanut,
Found a peanut, just now.
Just now I found a peanut,
Found a peanut just now.

Cracked it open, cracked it open,
Cracked it open, just now.
Just now I cracked it open,
Cracked it open, just now.

The number of stanzas is limited only by the imagination of the singers and the endurance of the hearers!

:-)  :-)  :-)

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