We’ve had a lot of rain recently–and are swishing our tails in happiness that this hasn’t been a terribly dry summer. And the bonus is surprise snacks:
Yep, Hickory and I are coming across mushrooms everywhere. And some we are eating.
Can you eat them?
No. A squirrel’s digestive system is far different than our human readers’, so we caution against eating what we do. And we aren’t even going to attempt to identify mushrooms…because we aren’t good at it.
And P.S.: Hickory says to tell our regular readers he can’t do the mystery again this Sunday. Sorry!
This plant has a symmetry thing going on. (The closer one, not the one in the background–the mystery from a week ago!) Any idea what it is?
I’ll check back for your answers later.
This five-leaved plant is a new tree–a Willow Oak. This one has just sprouted after we squirrels planted one of a neighboring tree’s acorns. Later, the leaves won’t be radiation out from one point, but will look like this.
Hickory and I are closing the blog for the winter a bit earlier than last year–see our 2015 post here. We love our readers and sharing our suburban nature findings with you, but the cold weather makes us want to burrow into our leaf nests and take a break. So we do!
This is our fourth winter closing the blog. Using our sidebar menus, you can look up other posts and our thoughts about certain plants and wildlife. Or if you like our Sunday mysteries, search the title “What is it?” to test your nature skills. Our archives are still open.
Have a safe, warm and productive winter. We squirrel will see you in the spring!
It is a Chestnut bur–the name for the seed covering–as one of our readers guessed, but not a Horse Chestnut. Those are only a little prickly, not covered with spines like these chestnut burs. The chestnuts themselves are protected inside the burs.
These nuts don’t look like they fully ripened, but they were all that were left when we ran across them. Probably the local squirrels found and ate the best ones, because we squirrels will eat tree nuts of any kind–that is, once they are free from spines!
The nuts had also fallen from the burs still on the tree. We admit we aren’t quite sure which kind of chestnut tree this is. Nutmeg and I looked it up on The American Chestnut Foundation website and believe the leaves are wide enough the tree was probably an American Chestnut. But we also realize that is unusual. This tree was a good 30 feet high, but it was in a human’s yard, not the forest, so it was planted. Let’s hope whatever clever mix the human scientists used to keep this Chestnut from getting the Chestnut blight keeps working!