September 26, 2009

WHAT ABOUT THE PINE CONES?:

With conditions right, acorns go nuts: Bumper crop plumps up squirrels while humans duck and cover (David Abel, September 26, 2009 , Boston Globe)

[I]n many parts of the region this time of year, particularly this year, the sky is falling - or at least it feels that way. Hard-shelled orbs are cracking windshields, thwacking gardeners, and tripping up joggers on their daily slog.

They are also making squirrels and other rodents pleasantly plump, leading to a potential bulge in their population.

Given this year’s bountiful rains and the mysterious cycles of nature, oak trees are producing one of the region’s largest crops of acorns in memory, forcing people to run for cover or gingerly avoid what can feel like a carpet of marbles on sidewalks and backyards.

On a recent afternoon along the Muddy River, the spike-tipped, leathery shells plunged like cluster bombs with every gust of wind from the surrounding oaks, leaving thousands of them littering the paved paths that connect Boston and Brookline.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 26, 2009 6:49 AM
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