Thursday, August 1, 2019

Curse of the Walnuts

As I have no doubt mentioned before, we have a good-sized walnut tree in our garden. It's a beautiful tree and I would never wish it any ill will, but there's a downside -- it's the messiest tree I've ever seen. I'm not someone who insists on a super-neat lawn, but it's too messy even for me.

The culprits are (again) the squirrels, who root around among the branches and gnaw apart the walnuts. The husks rain down on the lawn like golf balls. I try to get out every few days and pick up the larger pieces, because walking over golf balls is never comfortable -- never mind mowing over them.

Above, in our lawn recycling bag, is all the stuff I picked up yesterday. In their enthusiasm to get to the nuts, the squirrels frequently tear apart the tree itself, so I find leaves and small twigs scattered about too. Mrs. Kravitz, next door, hates this tree. You may remember that she had all the branches removed that extended over her property, and she has suggested to me more than once that we cut it down -- which I would never do in a million years, messy or not.

One of the guys who came to trim our shrubs several years ago told us we could eat these walnuts, but I can't even begin to figure out how to pick, husk and prepare walnuts for eating. So the squirrels can have them. I'll just continue to be their busboy.

Speaking of Mrs. Kravitz, she's also been complaining about the condition of our garden fence for years. It's true that it's an older wood-panel fence, and it's bowed in a few places, and there are some minor gaps and wobbles. Although this fence runs between her property and ours, it's apparently our responsibility because each homeowner in this area is responsible for the fence on the left side of their garden.

She insists that it needs to be replaced, but when she complains to me, I just say, "That's up to the landlord." Because honestly I don't care a whit -- as far as I'm concerned it works fine, keeping us out of her garden and (more importantly) vice versa. Well, she took her argument to our management company, so on Tuesday they sent a guy out to look at it. He seems to think the landlord could get away with replacing parts of the front half -- the back portion is fine, he said.

Mrs. Kravitz is not going to like that. Oh boy. There will be fireworks!

I've been reading Chrissie Hynde's autobiography, one of the books I picked up at the Staffy Rescue thrift shop up in Scotland about a month ago. It's interesting enough, although it sounds like she was a hell-raiser in school. She was actually on the scene during the Kent State shootings in 1970!

Here's what's funny -- remember how I was listening to the '60s music station while driving around Florida, and I complained about both Richard Harris's song "MacArthur Park" and Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita"? Well, Hynde mentions Harris's song as one that still brings a lump to her throat -- and my friend Colin told me that when he was a college radio DJ he always began his show with "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita," because it's a long song and it gave him a chance to browse the record stacks and find other things to play during his shift.

To each his or her own, I suppose.

In Dave's absence I've been watching stuff on TV that he doesn't like. For example, I'm working my way through "Bloodline," which he gave up on a while back, and with any luck at all I'll have it finished by the time he returns to England.

A few nights ago I watched a 1964 movie called "For Those Who Think Young," with James Darren, Nancy Sinatra, and Bob Denver and Tina Louise before their "Gilligan" days. I became curious about it after seeing Darren in something else, so I found it on YouTube. It's a terrible movie -- like, irredeemably bad. The lead actress is Pamela Tiffin, who I am convinced was actually an android. If you're curious like me, you could watch 10 minutes to get the sense of it, but whatever you do, don't invest in the whole thing.


e said...

Do you ever watch any actual British television?? Just curious...Good luck with the fence.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

As it happens, it is a myth that householders are responsible for the left hand fence. This is another example of Kravitism. Responsibility can only be determined via close inspection of the deeds. Here in Yorkshire we assume shared responsibility.

gz said...

The walnut tree prompts a memory of my friend Big Pete near Abergavenny..saw the walnut tree moving, realised that the squirrels were snaffling the lot, so went and picked a big basket full... unfortunately got called away by a phone call and left the basket out overnight.
Empty basket, near enough, in the morning...and obviously some very grateful squirrels!!

Red said...

Many trees are messy/ However, that comes along with other benefits of the getting nuts you can eat!!!

ellen abbott said...

pecan trees are worse I think in the messy department. not only do they start shedding immature nuts in July, they also self prune so they are constantly dropping small and large branches. at least I gets nuts out of the deal. seems to me that when the walnuts are ripe the husks would dry up/open up and drop the nut. that what pecans do. I could be wrong. my neighbor has a black walnut tree. you shouldn't have to do anything to the walnuts to make them edible, just crack them open.

Ms Kravitz may be a complainer but at least she isn't painting 'no trespassing and no stealing' facing you.

Catalyst said...

You want messy? Try a bottlebrush tree. Now, THAT'S messy.

The Bug said...

My grandparents had a black walnut tree & they would throw the green (what the heck are they - husks? hulls?) BALLS into the driveway & let people drive over them a while to get the inner part out. Then I guess they used a nutcracker to get to the fruit. Sounds like a lotta work to me - and their driveway was always a mess.

Beth Reed said...

Walnuts are messy but the meat is delicious in lots of recipes. Use a nut cracker and a pick and crack open the hulls and use the little pick to get the meat out. Like a pecan.

I don't care for neighbors like Kravitis. What a pain in the butt. I hope that the fireworks are not too bad for you.

Steve did I mention that for some strange reason I cannot reply to comments left on my blog? I was discussing this with a friend of mine and she suggested that I reply in my blog to friends or their blogs because every time I try to fix my blog I end up losing it altogether. It is really aggravating not able to respond to someone nice enough to stop by and leave a comment on my blog.

Oh and thank you so much for the information on the artwork. I love that kind of thing.

I am off to work on my blog and to bake some bread. Talk to you soon. Take care, Beth

Jennifer said...

We had two or three black walnut trees at our last house and we hated them! Messy and the nuts were too difficult to crack for the reward of a little bit of walnut. Someone else mentioned pecans, and while those may be messy the nuts are already out of their husk and ready to crack by the time they hit the ground. I'd rather have pecans any day.

Sue said...

We have a black walnut which is dropping big green balls all over the yard. I know the nut is in there somewhere1 I dried some in the basement one year and still wasn't able to easily get the shells off. The delicious walnuts in the cellophane bags at the store are more my speed. The squirrels are welcome to the others.

jenny_o said...

All the comments about the difficulty of getting the walnuts out make me wonder how the squirrels do it. No wonder they prefer a nicely filled bird feeder! That tree does sound like a nuisance but I'd be like you, unwilling to part with it regardless.

Peter said...

I have just finished the first season of Bloodlines and am completely hooked, can't imagine giving up on it.
Cheers Peter