While I was at the planetarium

I don’t know what makes me notice things. Every day some little detail catches my eye and I have to go exploring. So I went to the planetarium last month because the telescopes were open to the public to view Jupiter and Saturn. I’ve never seen any planets through a telescope, because I didn’t know anyone with a great telescope, so all the telescopes I’ve peered through have been $5 second-hand ones that didn’t work or weren’t operated correctly. I have seen a solar eclipse though. My high school let everyone outside, mid-day, to see the solar eclipse in the 90s. Anyway. The planetarium had two telescopes, and they were a lot more than $5. They were with the wait, and not only that, a giant falling star shot directly between the two planets (they looked like stars in the sky) while we (about 100 people) waited for our turns. Everyone went “Oooo” like a Gary Larsen cartoon. What brings people together: planets and meteors.

Afterwards, in the parking lot, I caught a glimpse of these weird, weird things on the parking lot ground. They looked like baseball-sized brains. If you stepped on them, they squished in a splotchy, uncomfortable way. One post to Reddit (although I could have just Googled but what the hell) later, I found out it’s the fruit of the Osage orange tree.

Biologists believe that the large fruits evolved to be eaten and dispersed by the large herbivores, such as mastodons, which lived on our continent only 20,000–30,000 years ago.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Although I’m not in Missouri.

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