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On Nature's Trail

Ed Bigelow 

The walking is better in October than in April or May.  The ground is firmer.  If anything more delightful than the hazy days that occasionally come in October?

October is pre-eminently the nutting time, not only for the squirrel, but for the boy.  No matter how early in the day the boy seeks the nuts, the squirrel gets there first.  Isn't it astonishing when a chipmunk runs in front of you, its cheeks bulging with pig-nuts or acorns, and with its odd little laughing chirrup of alarm the little fellow vanishes in the wall?  He is furnishing his storehouse for the winter.

Every Scout should know the shagbark of the hickory as distinctive from the closer, firmer bark of the pignut.  Both of these nuts are often referred to as walnuts, but there is a vast distinction.  Shagbarks are the more edible.  In these rambles afield, let us also not overlook the smaller nuts, notably the two kinds of hazels.  There is the beech and the one that is not beech but wears a torn collar or ring of ruffles at the top.  You can easily distinguish them if you look closely.

Do you know Hyla pickeringii?  Many a country boy has mistaken the shrill peeping of that little frog for the chirping of a bird in the October woods.  Country boy that I was, I never discovered that well-known call was not from a bird but a frog.  I had to wait till an older naturalist told me in his book, and then I took pains to creep up to the shrilling creature.  You may imagine my delight when I found the little fellow with his puffed-up throat piping away as merrily as in the spring.  The call cannot be a mating cry.  Undoubtedly it is a noise made for the reason that prompts a boy to pound on a fence or a tin pan.  He does it for the joy of making a racket, nothing else.

On Nature's Trail In:


Signs of Wildlife In:

November - December

January - March







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Peer- Level Topic Links:
September ] [ October ] November ] December ] January ] February ] March ]

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On Nature's Trail ] Animal Tracks ] Birds in Winter ] Birds Nest Collections ] Nature Collections ] Signs in Jan-March ] Signs: Nov-Dec ] Trees in Winter ] Animals in Winter ] Winter Tree List ] Tree Photography ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.