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Posts Tagged ‘osage orange’

Photo: Wikimedia

You know how in spring you start noticing things that winter’s sense of being closed up even when you’re driving around outside hides from you? When we lived in Pittsford, New York, for example, after going by the same spot for months, I suddenly noticed several unusual fruits or nuts lying on the side of the road. I had to go back, park, get out of the car, and pick one up. It was an Osage orange, a weird, bumpy gift of nature that the Works Progress Administration planted all over the Dust Bowl to counteract soil erosion.

Well, last weekend I saw with new eyes a tree I’ve driven past thousands of times. Suddenly on Saturday it made me think of illustrations of the naiad Daphne turning into a laurel to escape Apollo. (Definitely a case of limited options: give in or be a tree.)

Here’s a refresher from Wikipedia:

“Daphne (/ˈdæfn/; Greek: Δάφνη, meaning ‘laurel’) is a minor figure in Greek mythology known as a naiad—a type of female nymph associated with fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of freshwater. There are several versions of the myth, but the general narrative is that because of her beauty, Daphne attracted the attention and ardor of the god Apollo (Phoebus). Apollo pursued her and just before being overtaken, Daphne pleaded to her father, the rivergod Ladon and Ge for help. So he then transformed Daphne into a laurel tree.”

More here.

Daphne-hides-from-Apollo

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