Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thanks, Mt. Tam

I think in the last ten years I have never seen this kind of red coloration in acorns before. I believe the heart-shaped chunks were munched by a deer. I wish I knew what was up with the red color. Is it oxidized tannin? My old 1992 edition of Oaks of California (pre-sudden oak death; it's not mentioned once in the whole book) says indigenous people would remove the reddish papery skin when preparing acorn meal, so I guess it isn't that unusual, although I don't believe I came across any such skin the one time I processed acorns myself. Anyway, I was also interested to see that some of the acorns were beginning to sprout while they were still attached to the tree.

Acorn, Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)

Passing Cloud

Madrone Berry & White Feather

Half-Eaten Madrone Berry 

(I could hear a flock of band-tailed pigeons rustling around in the overstory). 

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Thank-you Mt. Tamalpais for a great decade of exploration, inspiration, and refuge.

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