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Oak Tree Mast Year

Lichen and moss on the north side of live oak tree in the front yard at Flying Hat.

Moss grows on the north side of trees.  That’s true in the northern hemisphere.  Probably it’s on the south side of trees in the southern half of Earth.  We have many oak trees bearing fruit this Fall.

Acorns fall from trees abundantly this season.  Our car port becomes a tin drum when the acorns fall — about one every thirty seconds at the fastest rhythm.  This is a “mast” year for acorns, a season of superabundant oak tree fruit.

Here on the ranch in prehistoric times, acorns were a staple supply for the Indian.  About the ranch house, in the front pastures and around the barn, I have discovered stone tools in abundance:  choppers and grinders.  It is possible that archeological analysis will reveal Flying Hat a quarry for tool making since non-worked iron ore and meteorite sources are plentiful (1).

Horses must be watched lest they overeat acorns.  A few nuts will not hurt them.  This Fall season the grass is so abundant the horses don’t care about the acorns.  During a lean year of grass in the Fall, I have seen Star (levitating and stealth horse) stand beneath an oak tree and wait for nuts to fall, some bonking him on the head, other nuts bouncing off his backside.  This year, however, come the browning of the grass, horses must be given ample hay or put in another pasture without acorns.  Star would much prefer to be gently pelted with nuts.

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Notes:

(1)  Archeological analysis in Texas falls under the Texas Historical Commission administration.  Contract archeological firms analyze sites.  My work in archeological field survey and analysis (I like the fieldwork) stems from my graduate field school tenure at Texas Tech University, anthropology department, under Dr. William Mayer-Oakes.

See also Texas Historical Commission, Archeological Subset.

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