Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bois d'arcs with their Horse or Hedge Apples

Coming out of the Bois d'arc thicket in Red River County.
What a hoot!

My husband and I were coming back from a wonderful book event at Her Majesty's English Tea Room in Dunlap, Illinois when he exclaimed, "Look! There's a hedgerow!"

Like sentries lined up to protect their borders, the survivors of original bois d'arc hedge planted in the early part of the eighteen hundreds testified that Herny Buckmeyer's seeds had accomplished their purpose!

Those of you who've read VOW UNBROKEN know exactly what I'm talking about! Remember how'd he'd extract the seeds and dry them, clean then dry them again? And how the bag of his seed was worth as much as two wagon loads of Sue's cotton? Wouldn't Henry and Sue love seeing the twenty-first century windmills (or closest thing to it we have) and that they are farms in themselves?

Prior to the invention of barbed wire in 1874, the only option a rancher had was to turn out his cattle, let them free graze, and then round them up come Spring, hoping for the best. --OR-- He could build wooden fences. History buffs might remember Abe Lincoln splitting rails to build a fence, a time-consuming, back-breaking endeavor that uses up lots of trees.

On the other hand, if one planted bois d'arc seed, in the second year, he'd have an almost impenetrable barrier. By year three, steady topping off his trees, an impassable hedge rewarded his efforts. That's what made Henry's trade so profitable! Pioneers came by the droves to the plains of Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas. Wood became such a premium! There were houses and barns to build! Bois d'arc hedges saved the day, serving as fencing!

Barbed wire resembled new growth bois d'arc, and actually killed the horse apple trade--or hedge apple, depending on which state you're from. By then though, my hero had seen the handwriting on the wall and moved into more lucrative endeavors such as transportation, stagecoaches then trains.

Still, coming through Missouri on our recent trip proved fun, seeing the real live evidence of Henry's entrepreneurship! See? Those old biddy town gossips did not know what they were talking about at all when they dissed poor Henry. A good man, he proved himself strong and intelligent--honest almost to a fault as his heroine Susannah Baylor soon discovered upon hiring him.

Our trip seemed sort of like the Lord giving me an early birthday present, seeing as how I was born on this day! Yessiree! It's my HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Born at 2:19 on the morning of May 3rd, 1950 in Long Beach California, I was the first child of Norman and Naomi Lawrence.

SO, I want to GIVE a gift on my celebration day :) I'll send a print copy of VOW UNBROKEN--the first book of the Texas Romance family saga series set in Red River County in 1832--to one of the commenters here on this Sweet Americana Sweethearts' blog post!

Y'all be blessed

Bio : Caryl McAdoo loves writing stories for all ages that glorify God and is thrilled Christian fiction fits her life purpose so well. Bold not bashful, she’s quick to share the Bible principles she lives by through her characters and hopes each title ministers His love, mercy, and grace. Known as the “Singing Pray-er”—with a YouTube channel to prove it—the prolific hybrid author also loves praising Him with new songs He gives her. Her high-school-sweetheart-husband moved the family from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods and seat of Red River County. After Ron, Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings. The McAdoos live a few miles south of Clarksville in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State.

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  1. I just visited Ellwood mansion in Dekalb, Illinois a few weeks ago. Home of bobwire fence.

  2. Hi Caryl! Enjoyed your post! I was lucky enough to win Vow Unbroken at another offering and really enjoyed it. You brought Henry and Sue to "life" and I just fell in love with both of them. Thanks for this "behind the scenes" look at those seeds/trees. I love to see how outhors weave in their research so seamlessly.

  3. Happy Birthday!! Very interesting post.

  4. Caryl, growing up in the mid-west, I saw my fair share of hedgerows. They are a sight to see.

    Happy Birthday. Have a great day and a continued successful year with the stories in your heart. Doris

  5. Happy Birthday! That sounds like a very interesting book. Reading about your book and the tree got me to go out and make pictures of a huge old hedge apple tree near my house. It is on the bank of an old road.
    I have 3 letters written before 1893 when my grandma married. Her brother was writing from Rosalie, R R Co. TX. He was selling buggies for a man from Clarksville, TX and might buy her an organ if the worms didn't get the cotton. She was in TN and wishing to visit her 2 brothers who were out in TX. It's so cute how they said things back then.

  6. Happy belated birthday to you, Caryl. What a wonderful look back at history, and an elemental part of your book. It sounds fascinating. It's on my TBR list!