Friday, September 24, 2010

Under the spreading chestnut, uh, sprig

Daily dose of Lucas County: 2.5 miles down the Cinder Path in Barber Woods at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 --- cool, sunny, cloudless blue sky, early fall perfect after heavy rain overnight.

Back in Barber Woods this afternoon, spotting a chestnut sprig dropping its "buckeyes" on the trail made my day. These are kind of rare around here. I'm calling it Ohio buckeye, but it easily could be horse chestnut. You tell me. It would be a real stretch to call it a tree as it struggles for light among oaks and hickories, so sprig it is.

Also scored a pocketful of shellbark hickory nuts (I called these Chariton River hickory nuts earlier this week because I couldn't remember "shellbark"). Visiting with Meg Monday, she said conservation personnel are worried that persistent high water in the Rathbun Reservoir backwater will kill off a good share of the shellbarks farther downstream. I sure hope not.

All my pockets would hold is below. I'm just going to look at the buckeyes, but will eat the hickories after a while (already cracked one, sweet and tasty, but thought for a while I was going to have to get out the sledgehammer. These are tough nuts to crack).

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