Thursday, October 11, 2007


Leaves aren't the only falling objects.
The sharp crack of hickory nuts on the skylights reminds me that I am in a race to gather nuts.
A race against the squirrels for the tasty black walnuts so plentiful on our property.

Each fall, we fill buckets with the green tennis ball-like orbs that blanket the grass.

The pungent, citrusy smell of their husks so refreshing--their juice such an impossibly dark stain. And the flavor of the nut locked inside worth every bit of finger-tearing, thumb-crushing, hammer-pounding work. A tougher nut I cannot imagine.
Stooping and picking this evening, from amidst the dry, fallen leaves, I sense something is very wrong. The walnuts, now faded from lime green to gold, are far lighter than I remember. They have almost no weight at all.

Maybe this year's drought and heat were too much stress for the tree.
Maybe there will be no nut inside that tough shell.
Maybe I should leave some for the squirrels.

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Q said...

I never have gathered the walnuts from my neighbor's tree, the squirrels always get them first!
How interesting they feel lighter than normal this year. The drought very easily could be the reason.
do let us know.

MojoMan said...

For some reason, this makes me imagine the days when humans faced hours of tedious work for every meal. How different life must have been - struggling every day just to stay alive. I wonder what would happen if food was cheap, plentiful and available at the slightest whim.