We are waiting for Hurricane Joaquin on Long Island, but meantime we are being blasted by the worst barrage of acorns I can remember.
I know, if we lived in the city, it would be car horns and construction noise. But this is like nothing I have ever heard.
The massive oaks over our heads are dropping acorns, which clatter on first impact and then skitter all the way down the roof and land with a thud on the deck.
Why this year? Is it another sign of the Apocalypse -- like the joker with the orange mop braying at us?
Nobody around here remembers such a crop of acorns. I went to the Web and came up with an article that said acorns are not necessarily cyclical – or even a direct reaction to drought or dampness – but rather an intricate computer-tree response to predators. Very impressive.
If I read this right, oaks drop their seeds (noisy little missiles) in years when birds and squirrels and other perceived threats are least hungry. This gives seeds a chance to survive – in lawns, flower beds and open space.
There are worse things to worry about right now, but meantime, a few feet over our heads, the acorns are obeying the law of gravity.
Now if the oaks stay put during Joaquin….
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see:
George Vecsey is Hofstra University's Alumnus of the Month! Read a Q&A with George here.