If You Go Out in the Woods Today…

…you’ll probably get to see one of my favorite plants, Indian (or wild) cucumber.

Indian cucumber
Indian cucumber

I never noticed them before we moved to the shores of the White River and opened a trail that meanders along the water.

These spiny babies grow to about the size of the palm of your hand and when the seeds are ready, the moisture inside pops the bottom open so the plant can drop six to eight watermelon-shaped seeds to the ground.

We grew them up the front of the house one year and were fascinated by the springs they use to fasten themselves to their preferred climbing surface. If you look carefully, you can see one of them coiled below the seed pod.

When the wind blows, the whole vine structure flexes with the breeze.

Somehow when I get to observe plants close up, I feel like humans are so far behind. How long did it take us to catch up with this idea?

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