There you are, taking the risk of eating a watermelon with seeds. You're sitting on the back porch with that big slice of chilled melon in your hands, feeling its cold in your palms. You dip your chin and take a big bite, right out of the middle of the slice. That cool melon flesh presses up against your checks on both sides of your face. It's almost gritty, not smooth like a cantaloupe.
That spittin' contest
As you slurp down and chew on a mouthful, your teeth suddenly crunch on something. Now this is smooth. It's a big black seed. You can't help but suck all the melon off the seed, slide it around you’re your tongue until it's just-so in your mouth. Ah, this is going to be a good one!
P-teww! That seed launches out into the yard. If you're perched on the porch with someone else, a seed-spitting contest is the natural next step. Everyone ends up laughing and sticky, with watermelon juice running down your hands and wrists, smearing your face, dripping down your chin.
So why am I thinking about spitting watermelon seeds?
Well, the Anacacho orchid tree in my yard decided to spit last weekend. This tree likes warm rocky spots and offers white butterfly blooms in spring. After blooming, it gets down to the serious business of making seeds in flat 3-inch pods. This year, it bloomed late, loading every branch with flowers. By mid-summer, pods almost outnumbered leaves.
"Honey, what kind of bug makes that popping sound?"
"What popping sound?"
Sure enough, we could hear a noise like the first few popcorn kernels starting to pop. It happened randomly about every 10-15 seconds.
Suddenly, some little missile hit my cheek, just hard enough to notice. Looking down, I saw five small brown seeds at my feet, smooth and shaped just like junior versions of perfect big black watermelon seeds. When I turned my head to see where the cheek-targeting seed came from, there was the orchid tree. The hot western sun was hitting it just right in the late afternoon. There were the seed pods, now brown and fat. At just the right temperature, those pods twisted open and threw the seeds, away from the tree. The seed that collided with my cheek traveled 11 feet. I had to laugh. Like a kid in a back-porch contest, that tree was almost grinning as it beat my best seed-spitting distances!
We've about bred all of the seeds out of watermelons these days, and we've made 'em smaller, too. It's more "convenient" that way. The way I see it, we're also deleting our chances for silliness. But getting sensory pleasure in your yard can still happen. Discover how your five senses respond to nature in your own unique way. Then make sure your yard and garden work with you. What are your memories of summer fun? Elderyarding can build those in again, with designs that recall those memories or create new chances to get right in the middle of the moment here and now in your yard. Call Second Summer now.
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