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….
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.