Kentucky Coffeetree, Dusk

Looking sinisterly like something out of Halloween, Gymnocladus dioicus in winter is one of the more unexpected street trees here in NYC. Because the leaf buds aren’t exposed, as in most trees, it can look dead. The heavy fruit pods persist, too, hanging pendulously overhead like strange ornaments. Here’s an interesting discussion about the species In Defense of Plants. What’s up with these heavy pods and very hard seeds? What critter dispersed them? The past tense is intentional.

The seeds are about the diameter of a penny. They take a good shine if you keep them in your coat pocket and rediscover them every fall.
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The CDC, charged with the public health of the nation, has been told it can’t use these words/phrases: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The Republican corporate/fundamentalist fascist attack on America is growing bolder.

This week, Trump announced massive revision of the “regulations,” or protections, that have made America safer, cleaner, and healthier since 1960. The Verizon representative on the FCC led the GOP members on that commission to allow corporations to take over the internet, which was of course developed, via DARPA, and massive funding of universities, with public money. The plutocratic tax grab seems closer than ever to passing: it is manifestly a radical attack on democracy, which can not survive the one percent’s power. Meanwhile, Trump and his goebbelian network, Fox, are undermining our system of justice by attacking Bob Mueller’s investigation into Trump family corruption and its alliance with foreign agents.

And this is isn’t even the half of it.

3 Responses to “Kentucky Coffeetree, Dusk”


  1. 1 Ellen December 16, 2017 at 8:19 am

    I don’t understand how words can be banned. What happened to freedom of speech?

  2. 2 Alan Baratz December 16, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    The City planted a Kentucky Coffee Tree at the side of our building plast spring. This year id leafed out, lost it leaves in the fall and did produce any pods. Is this normal for a young tree?

    • 3 mthew December 17, 2017 at 7:39 am

      They may have planted a male tree. Takes two to tango for this species, so hopefully there’s a female nearby. Tree pictured here isn’t so tall, but I’m not sure how old the females have to be to produce fruit.


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