Nuts

DSCN1789

We walked out our front door this morning to find the path strewn with hazelnut shells and husks. The squirrels and chipmunks must have had a party.

This is the most we ever see of the abundant hazelnuts (Corylus amaericana) that our trees bear–the shells that remain after the critters eat them. This year the nuts are being devoured even before they’re ripe. It’s at least two weeks earlier than hazelnuts usually ripen, and all the husks are still green. I wonder if there’s less food than usual because of the continuing drought, or more critters because of the mild winter.

Another thing that’s early is the flowering of several different prairie grasses: purple lovegrass, little bluestem, and prairie dropseed are all blooming now, again at least two weeks earlier than usual. Purple lovegrass in bloom, with its airy crown of tiny purple flowers, is lovely, but the seeds, which are darker purple and a bit larger than the blooms, are even more striking. This is a terrific plant for poor, dry soil and a hot, sunny site.

DSCN1792

Purple lovegrasss (Eragrostis spectabilis) in bloom.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s