Gnawing our way into autumn

Hickory nuts are not quite ripe in Shakerag Hollow, but the squirrels have started in on them already. You can locate hickory trees by the gnawing, scraping sounds coming from the canopy. Below, the ground is strewn with discarded nuts and fragments of shell.

Shagbark hickory has the sweetest nuts (pignut hickory, above, and other species have more bitter flesh) and the ground below these trees looks like a woodshop floor, covered with sawdust. These squirrels have impressively tough and persistent teeth.

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