It’s beautiful out there, and we’re taking advantage of it!
It’s a weekend to celebrate our mystery column: This is the two hundredth mystery post on The Squirrel Nutwork!
And what better way to celebrate than with a mystery acorn!
Sigh, isn’t that a lovely sight?
That’s not too hard, is it? I mean, to guess what type of oak tree it came from?
I’ll check for your guesses in the comments–and if you really want a hint…here is one pictured below.
This beautiful acorn is from the Black Oak, Quercus velutina. Yes, it’s hard to tell the similar leaves of the black and red oak families apart. One way is the acorns. The Black Oak acorns are shorter and round. The leaves of the Black Oak turn a coppery color in the fall, not red like the Northern Red Oak. And, this is the best leaf difference any time of year, on the back of a Black Oak leaf, tufts of hair fill the angle of space between the main vein and the branching veins (called the axil!). Hope you human readers can see those tufts on the lower, yellowish, dotted leaf.
But either tree is beautiful to us squirrels and the acorns tasty!
And falling like crazy with the winds coming through!
The leaves are coming down, which means our nests are exposed!
Before the wind blows it to pieces, this is an American Robins nest. Well, we squirrels don’t really want you humans finding our hiding spots, but we understand you find it interesting to see where we and the birds spent our summer. Hickory and I have been packing extra leaves in our leaf nests for weeks now. We’ve heard there won’t be much snow, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be cold!