23rd September 2014

Walking round to see a friend this morning I was crunching on hundreds of Beech nuts which had fallen on the pavement- looks like a good year for Beech ‘mast’ this year.  You can try chewing on the nutty bits inside the seeds but they are very small and it takes a lot of effort for very little product! The Germans ground them for oil during both World Wars, showing how low on supplies they must’ve been. Beech pollen has been found in

Grey Squirrel eyes up the Beech Mast

Grey Squirrel eyes up the Beech Mast

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It took a lo of searching to find nuts that were just the right ripeness!

It took a lot of searching to find nuts that were just the right ripeness!

Must've been worth the search.

Must’ve been worth the search.

Hampshire going back to 6,000 BC which, being around the time Britain became an island, makes them present long enough to be called native trees! They were coppiced extensively from the late 18th Century, when the wood became prized as the legs of the very fashionable Windsor chairs and for the contemporary naturalist/vicar, Gilbert White, the mature trees were “the most lovely of all forest trees”. This Grey Squirrel, watched this weekend, obviously found the nuts worth quite a lot of foraging effort! Conditions: A beautiful sunny start with a gentle breeze and welcome rain due later or overnight. Temperature: Max 17-Min 12 C.

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