Monday, April 16, 2012

Pug-noses - for Maple Trees and Fun


Pug-noses - for Maple Trees and Fun

All my friends called the maple tree seeds pug-noses when I was growing up in Brooklyn. We would open the sticky pod and affix it to our nose. Sometimes we would grab a handful of seeds and toss them into the air creating a pug-nose storm. We’d watch the pug-nose wings spin and flutter to the ground. Then we’d do it again. We would usually end up twirling around ourselves in our pug-nose imitations until we were too dizzy to stand. It was lots of fun.

But that was then. Before having grown up with a lawn to care for. Now pug-nose storms precede an abundance of new maple trees. If we leave them to grow we will have a forest in no time. Maples grow fast and I find seedlings in the most improbable places: poking out from cement seams on our driveway, in the flowerpots on the patio, up in the gutters, and, of course, everywhere in the lawn. We have several maple trees that planted themselves in the backyard and are now full grown. What used to be a gently shaded garden has turned into a deeply shaded one, which requires new shade-loving plants.

Still, the pug-noses backlit by the sun are beautiful. It is easy to appreciate their form and numbers while they remain on the tree though some have already fallen, blown by the windy spring days in their own flights of freedom. No doubt roots will start to spread any day now and I will find myself getting exercise as I bend down and try to manage their spread.

I have to admit, though, that I probably will end up reverting to my younger days when these pug-noses whirl down. If the neighbor’s children come outside and ask me what I’m doing, I’ll show them how to open the pods to stick on their noses and how to make a pug-nose storm and we can twirl around together.

Want to know about the variety of maple trees?

http://www.aboutmapletrees.com/

2 comments:

  1. Ah, yes, I remember it well.

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  2. I grew up in Brooklyn too, Sheepshead Bay and I had the same joyous experience with pug noses! Selling them to other children (for m&m money) was one of my first jobs. This morning I was telling my 10 year old son about selling pug noses and he was HORRIFIED!!! There are two nasty pug dogs that live down the street and do he feared that I was cutting off dog noses and selling them! Thank god for the internet! And for the joys of nature. Swirling around with them on your nose was almost as good as chasing fireflies! Gwen

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