Friday, April 18, 2008

Reproduction

Since I have become such an educator on pecan trees... chuckle, chuckle... I figured today would be the day we talked about the birds and the bees. That's right folks. Reproduction. As I began thinking through my head what I would tell you about it, the only thing that repeatedly came to mind was the song from Grease 2... you know the one. Everyone sing it with me. (Deep Voices now) Where does the pollen go?!?

I digress.

It's the time of year when all pecan growers watch their trees with anxiety. Waiting to see what we'll get. Kinda like going to get a sonogram. Will it be a boy, or girl? (Not that I know. I never had one... I'm good with those kind of surprises. Unlike some folks we know -cough- Missie.) We pecan farmers wonder... will it be an on year or an off year? And because Abuck is in Hawaii and wants to know how things are coming along, I have to learn what to look for so I can answer him honestly.

Let's take a look and see what's out there today...

These are Catkins. You've seen them. They make a mess all over your car. Typical. They are the "male" part of the tree. This year, they look good. This is a Wichita. Look at those catkins. Big. Long. Good nutmakers. (Let's keep it clean folks.)
This is the flower. The female part of the tree. This is where we hope the pollen from the catkins ends up. And with the wind we've had lately, it looks good. But something looks funny here. Let's take a closer look.
What's this?!? Nutlets! So soon?! WHOOP! That's exciting. Aren't they tiny? I have to nurture, protect and care for these babies for 5 more months. Let's see what else we can find...
Hey! A bird's nest! Awesome! So that's what happens to my hair after I clean out my hairbrush. Recycling. Cool. I love going out into the orchard and finding these little surprises. Isn't nature amazing?!?

Sorry, I got distracted. Happens all the time. Like once when I... Oops. Focus Nutty Mama.
Here's what we are celebrating...

Reproduction! THAT'S where the pollen goes.

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