Excursion Notes by Don Corrigan…
After a great house tour in Elsah, Illinois, on Dec. 5, I took a bike ride on the river trail between Elsa, Grafton and Peres Marquette, I was almost thrown off my mount after riding over several “Ozark Oranges,” also known around these parts as hedge balls. Do you have any hedge ball stories? They can be dangerous.
Hedge balls would not present such a problem if it were not for species extinction. The green balls were a regular on the menu of mastodons, mammoths, shrub-oxen, stag-moose and woodland muskox. No one is eating these “Ozark Oranges” now that these creatures are gone. There will be a lot more untended consequences in the future as a result of the accelerated species extinction in our own time. Here is a good read about the “Ozark Oranges.”
To read the article “The Trees That Miss The Mammoths” from American Forests, CLICK HERE.
We have these where I grew up. I once thought it would be fun to run over a bunch on the ground with a large mower and see if it would smash them up- one put a hole in the barn when it sling-shotted out like a cannon ball. Not one of my brighter moments. They are supposed to keep spiders away also – but I don’t think that really works – they just rot and then you have to clean them up.