Mr EC and I were out walking the other day and he said to me "I'm sure there weren't this many acorns last year". "Don't be ridiculous" I said, "a tree will produce roughly the same amount each year" and suitably told off he said no more about it. Several days later whilst scrolling through facebook I noticed a post from a friend, talking about a "mast" year. Have you ever heard of this ? A mast year is when certain species of trees produce an unusually large amount of nuts or fruit, and this year is a mast year. You can read about it here, but basically it happens every few years, as a way for trees to ensure they produce more nuts than animals can eat, thereby ensuring their propagation and survival. It's also thought that due to the extreme heat during the summer this year, trees were under stress and a larger amount than usual of nuts has been produced, again to ensure their survival. I was really surprised to read about this, I've never heard of it before, so it turns out, much to my annoyance, that Mr EC was right. I was very magnanimous and did tell him though.
And actually, now I come to think of it when we are out walking Pixie, we are crunching our way through paths loaded with acorns, they are everywhere. Pixie is very camera shy. when my phone goes anywhere near her she looks away, the photo above is as good as it gets. She is super cute though.
We walked round our local nature reserve, Dinton Pastures, last week. There are a few lakes there, and we walked round the largest one, Black Swan Lake. No idea why its called that, there are no black swans - does such a thing even exist ? Clearly, as was evidenced by the mast year knowledge (or lack thereof), I am not to be trusted when it comes to nature-y things! There was plenty of other wildlife though ...
... and walked back via the activity centre ...
Back home I took a quick wander round the garden. There are still some flowers blooming - are these a type of chrysanthemum ? Can anyone tell me ? They were planted by the previous owners of our house so I'm not sure. They are so pretty though ...
Back inside I've been progressing my Millenium cross stitch, and yesterday I finished the William Shakespeare motif. This only leaves 2 motifs to do, then some backstitching in the centre, and backstitched lettering to do round the central border, and it will be all done. I can see the end at the light of the tunnel now. It may even get done this year which would be amazing.
... I decided to make it into a card for Mr EC. The pattern is a free one that I found on pinterest.
Do you like my new Halloween mug above ? Isn't it so sweet ? I had a trawl through the cheapy shops - Poundland, Home Bargains etc - this morning for some Halloweeny bits to decorate our front room but I'll show you more of that another day!
Til next time, happy crafting,
Your grapes and yourflowers look wonderful. We had a very dry summer here - not as hot as some, but very dry. I had never heard of a mast year, but that makes sense to me.ReplyDelete
Yes makes sense to me too when you think about it!ReplyDelete
That Happy Halloween is adorable. Love the photo's from your walk and the beautiful gardens. In the US, it is a thought that years with lots of acorns means a hard winter is coming. Not sure if that is true or not though. Enjoy your week.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I hope you have a great week too!Delete
That is interesting about the acorns.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed your photos. :-) I like your pretty nails.
thankyou , getting my nails done is such a treat :)Delete
your grapes and flowers look wonderful. I was curious about black swans and looked it up and said they are normally in Australia! who knew - not I - I have only ever seen the white ones.ReplyDelete
well there you go, we have both learnt something today!Delete
Oh, those grapes! I had a grapevine at my old house that I miss so much. I made the best grape jelly every fall.ReplyDelete
I've noticed that the acorns are bigger than usual this year. I don't ever think I've seen them so big. I know it doesn't mean a harsh winter because everyone is predicting a mild one with little or no snow....boo.
I never thought of making grape jelly (jam), will have to look into that!Delete
Dinton is looking good, I haven't been there for years, so nice to have a lake to walk around. Your grapes and flowers are wonderful, they look like dahlias to me. I've been sweeping up another load of acorns this afternoon, I'm hoping we're near the end of them now.ReplyDelete
dahlias, aha! Thankyou!Delete
Yes, I agree with Crimson Kettle, your lovely flowers are dahlias! We also have loads of large acorns this year, we are in Northumberland.ReplyDelete
thankyou for confirming !Delete
Well, I learned something new today! Thank you for sharing about the mast year. Who knew?! Those grapes are amazing! Beautiful photos. Have a cozy evening!ReplyDelete
We've only been in our house just over a year so the grapes were planted by someone else, and last year we never even noticed hem lolDelete
We've had a lot of black walnuts this year. I think your hubby is right.ReplyDelete
There are black swans. Orlando, FL has a beautiful lake downtown and there are black swans there.
wow, I bet they are amazing to see !Delete
Earlier this year we visited Dawlish which is famous for it's black swans. Did you know that you can eat dahlias? The petals are nice in salads and you can treat the tubers exactly like a potato.. Boiled, fried or mashed. Our local cherry tree has a huge crop every third year and we make the most of foraging its fruit.ReplyDelete
I've never been to Dawlish, how cool to see black swans! I didn't know you could eat dahlias , no ! I think they're too pretty to eat :)Delete
Thanks for your visit to my blog. I’m sure after you complete your first sock it will start to make sense, you’ll soon be addicted. My first ever pair were a little wonky but totally wearable, look forward to seeing yours, JennyReplyDelete
I must pick the sock up again, I haven't completely abandoned it yetDelete
Oh my goodness what a feast of cross stitching you have there Jill. I love them all. Dahlias are looking fab too x.ReplyDelete
Thanks! The cross-stitching keeps me busy! Have a good weekendDelete
The mast year information might explain why our apple tree produced so many apples, and it was a very hot summer here, too. Beautiful sights on your walk! Have fun with your stitching, and love your ghost mug!ReplyDelete
yes that would explain it, fascinating, isn't it! I love the mug, so cute!ReplyDelete
So lovely your dogs and all your handmade halloween stuff is wonderful 😍😍😍ReplyDelete
thanks, yes she is a cutie :)Delete
Love all the lovely Fall and "Halloweeny" bits in this post. 🎃 I never knew that about trees either - pretty cool. And Pixie is beyond adorable! I read your posts and want to pull out cross stitch and tackle something - but I never seem to. sigh Maybe this cozy season is my year! LolReplyDelete
Blessings Friend xoxo
PS: could your flowers be some kind of dahlia? that is what they remind me ofReplyDelete
yes , others have said dahlia so I guess you are all right !Delete
Beautiful autumn photos! Thanks for stopping by my blog and allowing me to find you, you have a lovely space here.ReplyDelete
thankyou, as do you :)Delete
where we used to live we had an oak tree that produced acorns in massive quantities every other year. What a lovely place you live in and thanks for visiting me, I like making new blog friends :)ReplyDelete
I love making new blog friends too :)Delete
I so enjoyed the sights of your walk!!! Nice to learn new things, isn't it? We are having a larger than usual amount of acorns even here in Florida! The flowers you think might be mums are Dahlias! Very pretty-three diff ones!ReplyDelete
Amazing about the acorns in Florida! I don't even think of Florida as having autumn lolDelete
I knew about mast years! It must be regional though because there are normal amounts of acorns here, as far as I can tell. Lovely photos. I am sorry I missed so many of your posts, Bloglovin mostly doesn't work for me now. Have moved your blog over to Blogger so will stop by more often now :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks, its lovely being back blogging, I have missed you all!ReplyDelete
I've never heard of a mast year before. It does make sense though.ReplyDelete
Pixie is very cute. Xx