Sounds of the forest: part 5

(note: I started this post a few weeks ago and realized I never finished it, so it starts out about another morning.)

This morning I open the bedroom window (since the katydids are finally quiet) and I hear the sound of cracking twigs and crunching leaves in the woods, footsteps for sure. I’m hoping it’s the two fawns I unknowingly scared away from beside our driveway yesterday afternoon when I went out to the garage. Or whatever was splashing in the stream yesterday morning. Unmistakably, something (or someone) has to be walking right behind our house.

I grab the camera and go out on the deck and I immediately see that what I hear is dropping acorns, almost raining down, hitting leaf after leaf on the way down, and landing in a bed of last year’s leaves and on the deck. I look up and sure enough, a squirrel is at the top of a tree, executing circus-like feats, the branches his tight ropes and trapezes.

By the looks of the shrapnel (a.k.a. empty and broken acorn shells) on the ground, the squirrels have been having a mighty feast. So not only do falling acorns make another sound of the forest (plus lots of crunching under foot), they make a mess of the forest, especially after a storm, which we’ve had several of since the acorns started falling.

The kids have even been collecting them to try to feed to the squirrels later, when they want to raid the bird feeders. We’ll see if it works. Most of these were green to start with but have turned brown. I wonder if the squirrels like them better when they are “fresh.”

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