Monday, August 13, 2012

Siberian pea pods rain on me

We have a hedge of Siberian peas (Caragana arborescens) along the fence on the south edge of our property. Earlier today my wife (who was working in our vegetable garden) called me outside and told me to stand along-side the fence and listen.

I did as she directed (I always do), standing underneath the un-pruned Siberian pea bushes. I had no idea what I was listening for, but soon I heard it—a tiny “pop, pop, pip, pip, pop.” And then I saw it—something tiny bouncing off the leaves. And then I felt it—the Siberian peas were raining seeds on me!

The seed pods, drying in the afternoon sun, were splitting open and broadcasting their seeds. The pods are only a few inches long, and the seeds measure only a fraction of an inch. 

The tiny seeds fell straight down, but bounced off one leaf, then another, then off the fence. They bounced inward towards the shaded fence--outward towards the sunlight. It’s no wonder Siberian pea plants are coming up within a few yards of either side of the fence.

It was very soothing standing there, listening and watching and feeling the shower—like a gentle rain, but not a cloud in the sky. Amazing. Of course, now I have to get rid of all those new Siberian pea plants sprouting in my yard. And I think from now on I'll keep the bushes pruned back a bit more.

P.S. The seed pods when viewed in full sunlight normally don't look translucent, as in the photo. I took the picture with the sun behind the bushes, so the backlight shown through the pods, illuminating the seeds inside.

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