Acorns hang heavy on the branches of our red oak. A drenching summer rain washes over them and the surrounding leaves. Droplets gather and fall. The acorns are plentiful this year, more than any other since we first planted the tree some 16 years ago. I don’t know if it’s because of the oak’s age, because it’s been a favorable summer, or if the acorn abundance is simply a harbinger of a tough winter ahead.
Rainy days bring out the muse in me, especially when I can stay inside and listen to the downpour. But this morning the deluge draws me outside under the oak’s umbrella, camera in hand. Trees are important in my new book. I need to stand beneath our rain-drenched oak, to run my fingers over its bark and smell the fresh scent of its leaves. The acorns are an amazing bonus.
The squirrels haven’t harvested many yet. Why? We certainly have our share of the bushy tailed rodents in our yard. When I return indoors, a quick internet search tells me that squirrels tend to eat a white oak’s acorns first. Acorns from the red oak are more likely to be buried, hoarded away. It all has to do with the tannins and chemical make-up. As I understand it, white oak acorns taste best fresh off the tree. Red oak acorns need aging. I promise those tidbits will never find their way into my romance, but they are interesting, don’t you think?
In the distance I hear a roll of thunder, calling me back to work. On this day of deluge, I’m glad for the rain, glad for the lush green it brings to our yard. Glad especially for the acorns. Through it all, I immerse my mind into the forest primeval. ∞