I’m a few days late with this (a bit late with everything at the moment…). The Washington Post has an article about the dearth of acorns (and other nuts) in the east:
The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn’t find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head.
Then calls started coming in about crazy squirrels. Starving, skinny squirrels eating garbage, inhaling bird feed, greedily demolishing pumpkins. Squirrels boldly scampering into the road. And a lot more calls about squirrel roadkill.
But Simmons really got spooked when he was teaching a class on identifying oak and hickory trees late last month. For 2 1/2 miles, Simmons and other naturalists hiked through Northern Virginia oak and hickory forests. They sifted through leaves on the ground, dug in the dirt and peered into the tree canopies. Nothing…
The mast cycle is not very well understood but, still, this sounds vaguely apocalyptic. There again, I seem to have apocalypse on the brain. What will I eat while I sit in my bouncy house, drinking my wine and popping vitamin D?
14 thoughts on “where have all the acorns gone?”
I thought I was crazy but now I know better. We are the only house on our block with trees, pear and plum, as well as a small evergreen tree. We have several very aggressive and deranged squirrels who have taken over our yard. They have driven us in the house on several occasions and once even came to the window, pulling at the screen. Yikes, now I know why.
Why tinned food, of course. Don’t forget to pack a swiss army knife.
rory, out here the squirrels eat pine cones, and I think we have nuts anyway (tho’ not sure).>>evecho, and chocolate :) And I have a variety of splendid knives…
Oh they eat pine cones here as well, they pick the tree clean. They even tried to eat some rocks and shells I brought up from the beach. It’s obvious they are hungry, I just didn’t realize the extent of the hunger.>>Does the bouncy house have a solar powered refrigerator?
Watching survivor: squirrel, and for real, must be pretty disturbing…
Weird. I’ve been thinking about acorns a lot lately– mostly about the failure to domesticate them as a crop.
Deer eat acorns too, especially in the mountains of the high desert. The world would certainly be a less beautiful place if the deer were reduced to eating the ornamental plants in our back yards.
The deer “are” eating the plants in backyards where I live! Only a few plants are deerproof. >>I have pecan trees-no pecans,but there were plenty of acorns just north of the city where my brother lives. But even at that, the white tail deer are coming in and looking very thin. My brother spends a small fortune putting out feed corn every evening. The deer now come looking for him in his garage! >>I live in the city. Tonight I had a raccoon as large as I have ever seen, two small possums, and my five regular patio cats”dining”at my house . All are scarfng the cat food as quickly as I can put it out.>>The squirrels are digging up nuts that I put out last year. I have small empty holes everywhere. I have one squirrel that eats from my hand. My doctor did not find this cute when I told him it accidently nipped me.>>ALL of my backyard animals eat side by side. It is interesting to watch,but the raccoon worries me. It cannot go to the bouncy house with me…nope,nope.>>Hmmm…communal bouncy house encampments in Ecotopia.
Soylent Green anyone? It’s tasty.
Natasha, you are a cynic! Sary though, isn’t it?
linda, I think raccoons are just plain insolent. I dislike them intensely.>>natasha, have you ever read the novel the film is based on: Harry Harrison’s <>Make Room! Make Room!<> I don’t remember much about it but I just looked it up on Wikipedia and I was struck by the sixties notion of an overcrowded-to-insanity world: 7 billion people (and 344 million in the US). We’re currently at 6.7 billion (with 304 million in the US)…
While the PNW doesn’t have a lot of oaks, we do have some –Garry oaks– and I gather that there haven’t been many acorns on those, either. (Someone on the native plant list was desperately seeking some.)>>Scary stuff!>>–P.
p, well that’s disturbing. (See < HREF="http://asknicola.blogspot.com/2008/12/brightly-coloured-snacks.html" REL="nofollow">today’s post<> for scary scenarios.)
This is scary. Birds, squirrels….what is next? This is making the bell tone a warning.
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