But what kind of brown? Pecan brown? Chestnut brown? Chocolate brown? If so, what kind? Milk chocolate? Dark? Or maybe it's just sorta'-kinda'-dry-looking brown?
Mud brown. Light dirt mud brown. That's about right.
Thank all the gods for pictures! In both of the photos, you can see the progression and pretty much the right shade of brown. Left to right: green (don't pick), sort of green and beginning to turn brown and kind of yellow sort of (watch closely 'cause it's any day now), and brown (It's TIME!).
they do that - the pods "pop", curling open quickly, spitting the seeds away from the mother plant. Mama Nature, you're so cool.
An interesting aside: I've read that if you're near when they do that, you can really hear the pop. I haven't ever. Maybe I need to spend more time in the bluebonnet patch.
1. ... pick them, plant and all, and put the whole thing in a brown paper bag to dry and catch the seeds when the pods pop. Some people say you can pick the whole plant earlier than this, but I like to wait to make sure the most seeds possible have reached as close as they can to maturity.
2. ... or you can put netting around them, tied at the bottom like lollipop wrappers, to catch the seeds when they pop, though this can be a pain in the ass if you have a lot.
3. ... OR, by now, they're mature enough to just pick outright, just the pods. If you do pick just the pods, put them in a paper bag or pillowcase and shake them every day to make sure none are sticking together so much that they mold. Once they're this dry that's unlikely, but just to be on the safe side, shake ... your booty. Ahem.