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….
"The day after my 80th birthday, which overflowed with good wishes, surprises and Covid-safe celebrations, I awoke feeling fulfilled and thinking that whatever happens going forward, I’m OK with it. My life has been rewarding, my bucket list is empty, my family is thriving, and if everything ends tomorrow, so be it.
"Not that I expect to do anything to hasten my demise. I will continue to exercise regularly, eat healthfully and strive to minimize stress. But I’m also now taking stock of the many common hallmarks of aging and deciding what I need to reconsider."
--Jane E. Brody, my pal in the NYT newsroom, oh, a few years back, in the Personal Health column, Sept. 13, 2021.
"People have said to me, ‘You’re fully vaccinated. Why are you being so careful?’” said Dr. Robert M. Wachter, professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “I’m still in the camp of I don’t want to get Covid. I don’t want to get a breakthrough infection.”
---Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times, Aug. 16, 2021.