I Have Questions

1.  Is it true that Osage Oranges used to be eaten by mammoths?  If so, does that mean that, since we saw a bunch of Osage Oranges at the park, there used to be mammoths there?

2.  I’ve read the Wikipedia article and I still am unclear.  Is a pony a small horse, the way a pug is a small dog, or is it more like pony is to horse as dog is to wolf?

3.  Will crocuses spread in the yard?

8 thoughts on “I Have Questions

  1. 1. I have no idea.
    2. A pony is a small horse. If you got one that is too big, I’d be glad to take it off your hands.
    3. Usually.

  2. There were ponies on our way to the park.

    Hurray! They finally had the crocuses at the grocery store up the ridge on sale and I got all the mixed crocuses they had left and planted them along the dry creek. I’m hoping they’ll just spread out along the bank there over time.

    Will all the bulbs just grow and spread forever or do I someday have to do something to them?

  3. Bulbs generally spread b setting and splitting off sister bulbs, which flower within the existing clump (or row or however you have planted them). So the clump (or etc.) gets bigger, but it also gets sort of choked in on itself. So once they get settled in and start to multiply, you have to dig them up and divide the clumps every few years (and plant the ones you thinned out somewhere else, of course).

  4. Yes, osage oranges were eaten by mammoths — they were a giant fruit readily available in the Cenozoic, so it’s one of the things that megafaunal experts think that mammoths ate. Yes, mammoths were once in the area. There are some fossil remains from the Nashville metro (also smilodons), but no dinosaurs — the region that’s now Davidson County was either too far underwater or too dry to have much of a fossil record for the earlier periods. The interesting thing about Nashville is that it seems to have been home to one of the last remnant survivor bands of mammoths after the others had been killed off. The Tennessee fossil remains look to be significantly more recent than other North American finds, so there’s a puzzle to be solved about why that is.

    However, it would be too much to say that those particular osage oranges have been around 8,000 years and lured mammoths there, who were captivated by the beautiful view. Some things exceed a historian’s power of telling, and that’s why we have poetry.

  5. I am also confused on the pony issue: Miniature horses are small horses with the standard conformation. Ponies have different conformation than standard horses, so they’re different from miniature horses.

    I’m glad to see nm’s definitive answer than ponies are horses, though.

  6. Think of ponies as short horses with a stocky build (dictated by their short-but-heavy bone structure), whereas miniature horses have a growth hormone problem. But ponies are definitely horses; both groups have the same gene set and interbreed all the time.

    Bridgett: there were smilodons here? I wish I had moved here a bit sooner.

  7. re#3–yes the bulbs will multiply as long as the squirrels don’t discover them and dig them up and eat them. Damn squirrrels, this is one of several sources of hate between us. Bigger and bigger clumps each year will give you more drifts of color.

    I never knew that about Osage Oranges. How interesting.

  8. There were smilodons all over North America, but people have found fossil remains on the Harpeth River, by Franklin, and also in the exposed sediment layers next to the Cumberland.

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