Machine-Gunned Down at My Front Door

Posted: August 28, 2007 in Life, Plants, Travel, Trees

Okay, that might be a bit sensationalist, but it did feel a bit like that’s what happened. Anyone else who lives in a subtropical climate and has an orchid tree with psychotic tendencies might know what I’m talking about.
When summer heats up, the tree’s long, bean-like seed pods turn brown and then explode like a firework, firing their button sized seeds in all directions like a madman with a machine gun. If you happen to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, one could easily have your eye out.

On hot sultry days at the moment it’s positively dangerous to step outside the front door without body armour. It’s not even safe inside as the tree manages to spray its ammunition through the open front door. I’ve even been hit on the head whilst sitting minding my own business on the sofa.

This assault doesn’t let up at night either. Pods explode like champagne corks sending a rat-tat-tat-tat against the bedroom window. It really freaks you out the first time it happens (what do I mean first time? – it freaks me out every time).

It seems an incredibly effective way of the tree to spread its seeds, if completely nerve wracking for anyone in the immediate vicinity.
You might think I’m exaggerating about the ferocity and velocity of this phenomenon; however, don’t be too surprised if, at some point in the future, you happening to be perusing the Darwin awards and read about a tragic tale of a man gunned down by his orchid tree.


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