The branches of the wild persimmon tree are hanging low
this time of year, heavy with ripening fruit sweet and sticky,
that will become Fall treats for roaming deer, raccoon,
opossum and other wildlife that happen by.
These wild persimmons are quite a bit smaller than
your grocery store variety, full of heavy brown seeds
that provide a glimpse into the upcoming winter weather
if you believe in folk legend. It's at least as accurate as
the forecasters so I'll lean towards the persimmon's story.
If you wait until they are very ripe the seeds will be easier
to open. They should be soft and sort of orange in color.
Break open the fruit and touch your tongue to the sweet
pulp. (Yes, this is required!) then slide a few seeds
into your palm being careful to not let them slip away.
Rinse the seeds under running water with the drain plug in
and try to score the gooey casing that covers the seeds. If you
are successful, pull off that coating to get to the dry seed.
Some people will try to open the seeds with a knife.
Don't, unless you are really, super careful or you might find
you need a bandage or two. I use a pliers.
Place the seed sideways with the seam of the seed
between the top and bottom of the pliers and then
gently squeeze until the seed begins to open a little.
Then you can peel it apart to find the little treasure within.
If you see a Spoon or Shovel shape= heavy snow, cold winter
If you see a Fork (a spoon with tines) then winter will be mild,
perhaps with light, fluffy snow.
If you see a Knife shape- cold, icy winds will blow.
It looks like we're in for some heavy, wet snow this year.
You must use persimmons grown locally to find your forecast.
I just wish I had a 4th choice-
BBQ Tongs shaped
You know, for a warm winter with Bermuda shorts and tank tops!
Good luck with your own forecast!