Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Nuts, Nuts and more Nuts


As I saunter about through the woods I keep stepping and rolling around on nuts. They are everywhere under foot. From a squirrel’s point of view I am sure they are thrilled because they make up the bulk of their food supply for the winter. Collectively all these nuts are called “mast”, which is a forest ecology term. Mast is used to describe all of the nuts and fruits produced by woody plants (trees). To break it down even further there is “soft mast” referring to fleshy fruit, like Dogwood, Spice Bush and Poison Ivy berries, and “hard mast” such as Walnut and Hickory nuts. The hard mast tends to come from the higher or canopy trees and the soft mast comes from the understory trees. This is another reason why preserving the understory in our forest is so critical.
Enjoy more from ABC Wednesday.

15 comments:

Carolyn H said...

Squirrel: Large numbers of nuts here took, especially the hickory and acorns. If I don't fall flat on my backside sometime this fall because I've stepped on a hidden hickory nut, it will be amazing.

Carolyn H.

Squirrel said...

Carolyn, I know what you mean. They are treacherous. Last year we didn't have very many but I think this year is a normal crop.

Wanda said...

Last year in Sept. all of our hickory nuts, acorns and walnuts came down early and all at once by the high winds of Hurricane Ike that reached Ohio, walking while cleaning up was very difficult.

James said...

I learned something new while enjoying your wonderful picture. It's amazing how beautiful fallen leaves and debris can be in the fall.

photowannabe said...

Thank you for the new information about nuts. That's what I love about blogging. Its a whole new world out there.

Carolyn Ford said...

That is a very great shot despite their danger on walkways, etc. Be careful...beautiful macro...

Sylvia K said...

Yes, thank you for the information about nuts and like photowannabe, one of the best things about blogging is how much you have a chance to learn from others. Love your very "autumn" feeling capture!

Leslie: said...

Squirrels are scurrying around my yard looking for something to store away for the winter. I love this time of year.

Q said...

Nice nuts!
Thank you for the mast information.
I too love ABC Wednesday...I learn so much.
The acorns are very thick on my driveway this year. I am sweeping and saving for winter feed for the birds.
Sherry

Anna said...

An excellent choice for N. Here the squirrels are busy stashing conkers. I would not mind if they came back for them but every spring we have little chestnut trees emerging in all sorts of odd places.

Roger Owen Green said...

Your post makes me want to declaim, "oh, NUTS!"

Rose said...

Another interesting post! Last year we had a plethora of acorns under our oak tree. I had to laugh this spring when I walked under the oak and found piles of empty shells. I guess my squirrels were well-fed last winter:)

Thanks for sharing; I had No time to do a post this week:)

Tumblewords: said...

Interesting - had never heard the word mast used in this way before - the nuts do look like they'd be slick as a spilled bag of marbles.

Kara S said...

Love the photo! Great shot! Our mast is reported to be low this year in W.Va. A month ago, squirrels were scurrying and scavenging. Not so much anymore. Guess they moved on?

Babooshka said...

One thing we have is plenty of nuts here, and not just the edible variety. They can be tricky underfoot.