Shagbark Hickory, Norway Spruce, Tansy

I have an old Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata) at the back of my yard, actually it belongs to The State of New York since it’s on their property, but I like to think it’s mine. I love this Shagbark Hickory, because I grew up with one just like it outside of our picture windows. It used to puzzle me why it didn’t have low branches so I could climb it, and that bark – ohhh, not very good for climbing even if it did have low branches. So I left it alone except to admire it. For an ecology class I took, we had to pick a niche, observe things happening in our niche, and then write a paper, and I chose the area around my present Shagbark Hickory. I also had to pick a species in my niche and write another paper about it, so I chose, yup, the Shagbark Hickory. Why am I discussing this?

Today I’ve been hearing the nuts from the Shagbark Hickory dropping through the understory, and then watching squirrels scrambling down after them. I also discovered little pieces of hickory shell, next to a Norway Spruce cone. The cones are usually stripped right down.  This one must be too green  yet.  I’ve seen the squirrels carrying both nuts and cones in their mouths. I guess I’m expected to clean this little mess up.

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I would like to try a hickory nut, just one hickory nut, while I’m alive if only the squirrels wouldn’t eat them all up. I hear they taste really good. I wouldn’t know – yet.

Speaking of Norway Spruce cones, here they are, bigger and greener:

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And here’s a bee on my Tansy:

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I love the smell of Tansy when I rub the leaves between my fingers. And I love their little yellow flowers.