My sister corrected me, those prickly things we threw were called "wild cucumbers". Also, I've seen a few more of those strange oak trees, and while none of them had both the acorns and the strange "fruits", I found something in common: a growth on the leaves, resembling chocolate morsels (or Hershey's kisses) but bright red, about 1/4 inch diameter at the base and about 1/4 inch tall. Since some of the trees have acorns, either these oaks are male/female, or those apple-like "fruits" are actually a fungus or other parasitic (cancerous, maybe?) growth. Maybe I can investigate more when I pass through next year.

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