It’s not only acorns that are falling, the leaves are following…
or more specifically, this leaf has fallen. If you know what kind it is, or just have a guess and want to play, give me an answer in the comments!
We squirrels don’t see this too often–a doubly compound leaf. The smaller leaflets are actually leaflets of the larger leaf. In fact, Miz Flora tells us that this small tree can even have triply compound leaves!
It’s a Devil’s Walkingstick or Hercules Club, Aralia spinosa, which if you try to climb the trunk, your paws will tell you exactly correct. Usually growing at the sunny edges of woods, this native tree can grow to 20 feet tall where they lean their huge flower heads out, letting bees and butterflies find them.
Now, in the fall, each of the tiny flowers has become a berry.
We squirrels don’t eat them–can’t get to them!–but they seem to disappear. It’s the birds, of course, thrushes, sparrows and pigeons, but Miz Flora says she’s seen fox and skunk eating them. And chipmunks–they must be waiting for them to fall! That’s the only way to get them that Nutmeg and I can figure out.
Even if it’s not something we eat, this is a pretty cool tree that seems almost hidden from humans.