A witch hazel lives beside the front walk and here is what she does this time of year–she spits perfect, shiny black seeds. They are not eye-catching, not attention-getting like the red fruit of dogwood. Smaller than my pinky fingernail–which is pretty small–they could almost be small beetles, dormant and inactive.
You can’t see them when you’re coming home after dark–not even the “energy-saving” incredibly bright street lights reveal their hard presence. But in the soft light of morning, when one is wandering in the yard, cuppa tea in hand, then you see one.
Only one. The promise of the hazel–one seed.
Then you see another–half a yardstick away. An another, hidden by the freaky leaves of the hellebore.
The pods from which these seeds are ejected are quite beautiful. Truncated cones with a textured outside, like dirtied bordello wallpaper.
The leaves are turning to their red coat, above the excitement of seed exile, as the buds form, ready for December bloom.