Kentucky Coffee Tree is one of the most interesting trees in North America and there is a little grove of them at Ashbridge’s Bay.
Here are some facts: 1. Long ago, land developers advertised Kentucky as a place where a tree grew with beans that could be roasted and brewed to make a fine coffee substitute. Although drinkable, settlers quickly switched to real coffee when it became available.
2. The seeds can be dangerous if consumed and must be roasted at 150 degrees F for at least 3 hours to be safe for human consumption.
3. The leaf of Kentucky Coffee Tree is doubly compound and by far the largest of any native tree.
4. These days, they are frequently planted as a landscape tree due to their tolerance of urban conditions.
This morning’s walk was done in steady rain and 2 degree temperature.
As usual in this location, chickadees sought us out as they know that I carry seed.
Some ducks on the ice:
Species list: mallard, gadwall, bufflehead, long-tailed duck, common goldeneye, common merganser, ring-billed gull, hairy woodpecker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, northern cardinal. (11 species)
In drear nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity—
The north cannot undo them
With a sleety whistle through them
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.
– John Keats (1795–1821)