Part Two: Wild Oranges
I see a fiddler crab sitting on an oak tree, disguising itself as bark.
And above me, I see wild oranges growing. Some have fallen to the ground. I wonder if they’re safe to eat.
I pick one up. It smells tart. The odor is sour. Should I open one and taste it? Just give it a lick?
I peel away the skin. It’s more fibrous than the oranges we buy at the grocery store. And more tart. It doesn’t get my fingers sticky, which means there’s less sugar.
This orange wasn’t rotten or anything. I picked it off the ground, but it was ripe enough to fall from the tree, and the skin was in good condition and bright orange. But this wild orange is much more sour than the commercial produce.
I wonder if these trees were commercial at one time. Are these the residuals from an orange grove that used to be out here? Did they grow from seed transported by birds?
I think I will leave this. An offering to my fiddler crab.
It does leave a wonderful scent on my hand! But it smells more like vanilla than orange.
As I walk, I smell my hands again and again. It smells so good! As though someone took a stick of butter, whipped it, added a teaspoon of vanilla, and a splash of orange juice.
I stop to listen.
Photographs of fiddler crab and oranges by Carol Fullerton-Samsel.
Cropped photo of Tufted Titmouse by Rick from Alabama with Flickr.
Cropped and exposure-adjusted photo of White-eyed Vireo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren with Flickr.