Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Squirrel's Paradise

Nuts beyond number fall each autumn in Middle Tennessee. This photo is of the acorn of the Burr Oak, which lives here along the Harpeth River in the bottom lands. But we also have walnuts, pig nut hickories and mockernuts. When the bird songs grow distant and plaintive in October, acorns land among the fallen, dry leaves with a new sound of the season. And the squirrels pursue them, and the woods crackle and rustle with the sound of industry. By spring the hulls of the mockernut will litter the park foot trails. These nuts feed turkeys and deer and blue jays as well as the squirrels.

Sadly, the one nut tree that would have me out foraging ,does not grow this far east in Tennessee. I have seen the pecan tree in the woods around Reelfoot Lake, but never here. Why not? That is a mystery, along with the absence of the bald cypress, which graces low places along the Tennessee River- not that far to the west of Nashville. Oh, the vagaries of Nature-


Out on the prairie said...

I had to look up mockernut, a type of hickory.We have the pignut and shagbark here.I use the wood to smoke meats a lot.I picked up a smooth hulled horse chesnut yesterday, one I have never seen.

troutbirder said...

I slipped and fell last week filling the bird feeders. Why? Because of a carpet of acorns. I've never see so many all the years. The squirrels should be happy though... :)