Wednesday, June 30, 2010

so near and yet so far

I can see these hickory nuts in their spiny packages from the side deck.

I've only seen them in pictures until they're on the ground--usually empty shells--because you really can't see them looking up into the trees. Also, I've never lived near so many hickories before.

I'm looking downhill from the deck into the tops (and sides) of trees.

The question: how do I get to these before the squirrels, raccoons, and possums? It's a really steep bluff. I  haven't been all the way to the bottom, but going down a little way requires holding onto trees while setting your feet sideways, and coming up must be done on all fours. Not a good position for searching for nuts on the ground. Plus, squirrels, raccoons, and possums all climb trees.


  1. I think the little critters are going to win that fight!

  2. I'm afraid they are, Sagan. I shall concentrate on getting to the blackberries first.

  3. I have the answer. What you do is, see, you train an oppossum and a raccoon and a sq--- no, maybe not. Okay, just train a raccoon to divvy up the hazelnuts with you, 50/50. Tell him you'll pay him double in apricots. Raccoons love apricots.

    My mother had a single mother move into her house and give birth there. To raccoon kits, who lived in the space between the first and second floor. Very much into scampering, usually at 3 a.m.

    Flash forward to a year or so later. I'm still living in my mother's house but I've built a loft-bed, which puts my bed level with the window. It's a hot night, so I have the window up. I wake up (about 3 a.m.) and turn my head toward the window.
    And find myself nose-to-nose (through the screen) with a young inquisitive raccoon. My window, you see, was right next to the apricot tree. Apparently he'd come back, remembering the good pickings from the previous year, and wondered why the tree hadn't given up the same harvest this year. I tried to explain about La Nina years, but raccoons simply do not want to listen to long, technical and semi-authentic explanations. Go figure.