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A Nutty Surprise

When we bought our place nearly seven years ago, the back of the property was nothing but a weedy lot save for one big tree.  It was February when we moved in, and the tree was leafless.  Someone told me it was a Modesto ash.

I loved the tree, partly because it is huge but mostly because it made a perfectly shady spot to give the chickens some relief from our scorching hot summers.  We built the chicken coop under it the spring we moved in.  Just last summer we relocated the buck yard under it as well. 

Since I had no experience with ash trees, I didn't think anything of the fact when it started dropping copious amounts of football-shaped brown nuts every fall.  The crows and my chickens loved to eat the nuts.  I'd crush several under my boot heel and they would come running on their little scaly feet to gobble them up.

The goats love the nuts too, and eat the shell and all.  The crunching is horrid and I started to worry that the shells might hurt them.  So last week Kaylin and I decided to shell a few nuts for them as a special treat.  Which is when I noticed... the "Modesto ash" nuts looked just like pecans.

I have never seen a pecan in the shell before, so the hundreds laying around my feet didn't help me any.  I had no idea what a pecan tree looked like either.  But I do know pecans, because I love them.  So I grabbed a nut, a green husk, and a handful of leaves and ran inside to google "pecan tree".

It looked just like my tree.

I googled Modesto ash.  Not my tree.

Hubby took a branch and a nut to a local nursery this weekend, to get a pro's opinion.  They confirmed it -- I have a 50 ft. pecan tree growing in my yard.

I'm ecstatic, but also a bit disappointed it took six seasons here to finally figure it out.  No matter.  The kids and I have been making up for lost time by snacking on them all weekend.  And we're making homemade pecan pie for Thanksgiving.

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