Welcome to “Acorn Creek”

I live in Walnut Creek where, it seems, there aren’t many walnut trees.  However,  there are quite a few oak trees, and they seem to be concentrated around my neighborhood.  We’ve lived in our little condo for almost 10 years, and every fall there are a lot of leaves (as you would expect from fall) a few acorns from the oak trees, and all the usual stuff you expect from this time of the season. 

Well, this year the oak trees decided to rain down an insane amount of acorns (one hit me on the head when I was walking on the sidewalk).  And because there were these pods scattered all over the place, it raised an obvious question:  what the hell is up with all these acorns? 

Then I found an answer (and it wasn’t on the Internet)!

As I was cleaning out some old crap at work, I found a copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2007.  I started scanning the pages because I’ve never actually read this thing before, and then I happened upon a page that answered my acorn question — well, sort of:

“Nobody knows for sure what accounts for the cycle in the lives of oak trees in which they make a huge crop of acorns every four or five years after several years of far lower production.  Some botanists say the superabundant years are due to ideal weather conditions when the trees are in flower.  Some think the wide swings in acorn production are adapted to foil insect parasites.”

Reading through this passage it’s pretty clear that the author is being too vague in his/her analysis of what is causing the bumper crop, but I’ll take it (for now)! By the way, this Farmer’s Almanac is pretty funny.  It has Reader’s Digest quality that elevates a kind of folk wisdom peppered with unnamed and uncited “experts” to bolster a point a view.

However, I did find quite a few bits of advice in the Almanac where it’s clear you don’t need people with PhDs telling you something is universally true. To wit:   

“Always drink upstream from the herd.” 

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