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Squirrels, Trees

Does a Woodchuck Chuck Wood?

I’ve been trying to enjoy my deck on the days that the clouds aren’t dumping inches of rain per hour.  Those days have been few and far between lately.  I was fortunate enough to spend some time out back Sunday afternoon before the deluge hit us. 

As I sat on my deck looking at the puddles covering my yard and wondering how many mosquitoes were breeding in them, I became aware of stuff falling.  Little “ping… ping” noises of something hitting my deck.

Beech Tree

My pretty beech tree (taken right after Hurricane Irene, hence all the debris in the yard!)

I realized what it was – beech nuts falling from the branches above me. Right next to my deck is a large, gorgeous American Beech tree.  I love that tree.  (There’s a whole story about it, which I intend to write about some day soon.)  The strange thing is, it didn’t seem like they were falling.  It felt more like they were being pelted, hitting the deck with such force that they were bouncing all over the place.  I actually had to move my chair for my own safety.

Beech nutsWildflower.org says, “American Beech is a handsome shade tree and bears similar edible beechnuts, which are consumed in quantities by wildlife, especially squirrels…”  Squirrels.  We have dozens of them living in and around our yard. 

I started giggling to myself, imagining a group of squirrels high up in the beech tree.  “SHE’S the one with the dog that likes to chase us.  A dozen acorns to the first one that lands a beech nut in her Bacardi and Coke!”

It made me think about that so-stupid-it’s-funny commercial from Geico.  “Can Geico really save you 15 percent?  Do woodchucks chuck wood?”  I wanted to yell, “Hey you dang squirrels!  Quit chuckin’ mah beech nuts!” 

By the way, good ol’ Wikipedia says, “Chips of beech wood are used in the brewing of Budweiser beer as a fining agent.  Beech is also used to smoke some cheeses.”  I love cheese, but Budweiser not so much.  Now if Bacardi started using beech in their rum fermentation process…

Postscript: As I was posting this article, my dog Maddy was laying on the deck in the late afternoon sun.  Beech nuts were raining down on her, though I don’t think she quite knew what was going on.  She would look up every once in awhile.  Yet she didn’t leave her spot in the sun!  Silly girl.

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About Kim, amateur wildlife enthusiast

I'm a wife, mother of two 'tweens (the eldest pictured with me above), freelance writer and editor, and amateur backyard wildlife enthusiast. When I'm not sitting in front of a laptop, I enjoy the outdoors, boating, gardening, traveling, playing the piano, watching my kids play lacrosse and spending time with extended family. After losing my mother in 2010 at age 64 to cancer, spending time with family has become even more important to me.

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