Monday, October 13, 2008


Today when I got home from work, I hopped off my bike, pulled open the gate and walked into my backyard. What I found was a riot of urban wildlife activity! There were maybe 10-15 crows in my walnut tree, making a raucous, three squirrels in the bough of the tree eating walnuts and chasing each other around the trunk, walnuts raining down like crazy all around me from the crows, squirrels, and natural gravity, and a little tuxedo cat that I'd never seen before eying every one with indecipherable motives.

(The crows like to pick the walnuts and drop them into the street, then wait for cars to drive by and crush them, after which they swoop down and eat the nutmeats. It's pretty entertaining. It drives Algebra crazy.)

Then the little tuxedo cat sprang forward and darted toward the squirrels. Tuxedo cats are usually pretty smart. I chased after her, but she was undeterred. Walnuts are still raining down on all sides, I'm glad I still have my helmet on, because it's loud, though it doesn't hurt too bad to actually get pegged by one. Anyway, the cat chases the squirrels up the tree and gets herself stuck in a place that's hard to come back down from. A squirrel starts yelling at her from an unapproachably high branch. I coax her out, but she sits at the base of the tree, waiting for the squirrels. I put my bike away and go into the house grab my "walnut harvesting bowl" and say hi to Algebra, who follows me back out of the house and into the yard to keep me company while I pick up walnuts for myself. So now it's me, the crows and the squirrels going after the walnuts, and two cats. Algebra kind of ignores the tuxedo cat and follows me around the yard as I pick up walnuts. The weather was warm and cloudy, pretty nice.

I love my walnut tree. It's probably as old as the house. I love that it provides food for so many people and animals. In less than an hour I have enough walnuts to last me forever. Good vegan protein, and its free! Plus everyone in the neighborhood gets some too! You can shell them and put the nutmeats in jars and keep them in the freezer for a pretty long ass time. If you are close by, please come over and help yourself...

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