Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Black locust blooms in the backyard

While I was downloading photos from the camera disk onto my external hard drive the other day, I noticed this one and wondered aloud where my husband had taken it.

He wouldn’t tell me. He likes to play games like that, making me guess.

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And it wasn’t until I was dining under the circle of seven trees in the backyard over the weekend that I finally discovered what the mystery pods were.

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They’re the flowers of a black locust tree. There are several black locust on the property, and three of them are positioned in the circle of seven trees, seen above, along the edge of the property. They are probably pretty old, and are some of the tallest trees here.

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I took this macro shot the other evening, while I was dining under those very trees. The flowers are borne in loose drooping racemes four to five inches long and their scent is quite lovely.

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Black locust is the heaviest and hardest wood in North America. It’s extremely resistant to rot and is very long-lasting, rendering it prized for fence posts and small boats. It’s also highly valued as firewood because it burns slowly, has little visible flame or smoke and has an extremely high heat content.

I wouldn’t plant it on a horse farm, though. It’s toxic to them when eaten.

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And that, all you cool cats and puppy dogs, is our lesson for today.

There will be a test next week.

Remember that George loves ya!

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

And I’m kidding about the test.

31 comments:

Train Wreck said...

Oh what great pictures. I have 4 locust trees on our property? I had no idea they were poisonous to horses? Actually I don't know what kind they are. Other than they are a locust? I will have to check it out. Thanks for the info. And George is such a great looking dog.

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

I had never even heard of locust trees.

Love you too, George.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Doreen said...

I have been inspired by all the pictures you take around your garden so I have been taking out my camera into my garden. I do not have a fancy camera, but I have been trying close ups, different angles etc. I will never be the photographer that you are but I have been taking pictures of a lot more than miniatures. And there is so much activity on the river that it gives me a constant source of pictures.

Mental P Mama said...

from what I remember, locust trees are really fragrant....are these? BYW. Me love me some George;)

Country Girl said...

Doreen, I am glad it's inspiring you! Yes, TW they are toxic to horses. The effects don't show up right away, but a vet should be called as soon as possible once it happens. I read about it on Wikipedia. Horses are also allergic to other trees as well.
Yes, MP they smell very nice! Not as wonderful as lilac or as sweet as honeysuckle, but a scent all their own. Very nice.

~ C.G.

Tricia Anne said...

Oh would you just look at that handsome face! George is too cute! :o)
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

Woman in a Window said...

I like that he's exploring so much with photography. It's a whole new facet to your relationship.

Christina said...

Wow, to dine under those trees. Ah, such beauty.
: )

Annie said...

lovely post...lovely trees and flowers....love the photos of George..and the cat also!!

Annie

Char said...

the blooms remind me in a way of wisteria. so gorgeous. and hello george (and blackie).

hope you're having a great night.

Pony Girl said...

It's a beautiful tree! Nice pictures, love the one of the blooms. I don't think we have them here in the Northwest?

TSannie said...

Neat photos as always.

Circle of the Seven Trees

The title of a best-selling book. Now you just need to write the 200 pages between title and post-script! ;-)

jpvill said...

Nice! Flower and you have a beutiful backyard.

i love the cat and the george tandem soooooo sweeettt!!!!

Jacqueline said...

Awww....and I think I love George too, the little sweetie.

Love the pictures--please tell your hubby that we're liking them.
Until now, I had little knowledge about the black locust tree. (Ok, none. :P) Beautiful.

Great post--thank you!

Cindy said...

Beautiful tree. Hi George.

Meg Young said...

Kate! Oh my goodness, it's been so long! I guess the last time we talked you were still in the middle of a move! I am so sorry I have been so lax in keeping up with you. It looks like this place suits you and of course George is as handsome as always!

Take care!
(((HUgs!))

Ellen said...

I don't think I have ever seen a black locust tree - how beautiful.

I love Annie's comment about the book. Perhaps it could be a collaboration between the many commenters. Of course George would play a major role in the book.

Deb said...

I didn't know that, thanks for the lesson in hard woods. (giggle) Now I will be on the look out ofr locust trees...
Tell George I said hey!

JAS-- said...

Beautiful pictures. I fell in love with black locust when we lived in NY. I need to plant some here in PA. The scent is wonderful.

Mary said...

Please tell me you didn't just know all that stuff, and found it on Wikipedia... ;)

Lovely photos, yours and hubby's!

Oliag said...

I am not familiar with black locust trees...and now I want to smell them! Beautiful photos as usual...

Daryl said...

You are so funny and cute ... and those flowers (and trees) are lovely ... as is George .. we love you George!

Coloradolady said...

Beautiful flowers and pictures like always. I wish I had a tree like that, very pretty.

Amongst The Oaks said...

The flowers resemble wisteria. Very pretty. I think we have some of those here in my neighborhood. Thanks for sharing.
Laura

Fritter Chicks™ said...

Very pretty! I didn't know they were poisonous to horses. Very interesting!

Donalyn said...

Lots of Locust around here - farmers always used to plant it because of what great fenceposts it makes. Hard splitting stuff, that is for sure - like hitting a big block of cast iron. Pretty pretty photos!

Jeannelle said...

Lovely photos and very interesting info. I've not heard of Black Locust before. There are Yellow Sunburst Locust around here. "Raceme" is a new word for me, too.

Karen said...

Thanks for the arbor lesson! For some odd reason, the properties of hardwoods interest me! I found you via Pioneer Woman's blog (your recent comment was just a couple above mine :>) and thought I'd take a looksee. There are some really beautiful photos on here! Glad I came by! :>

Lori E said...

I thought it was wisteria too. I have never seen one around here before.

KentuckyFarmGirl said...

Absolutely beautiful Kate! Thanks for sharing with us!

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