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.


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:


And here’s a bee on my Tansy:


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

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan Gets Native
    Aug 27, 2006 @ 21:38:33

    What a blessing, to have a shagbark hickory so near. You lucky thing. All of our trees are still so young, and let me add that I didn’t choose them, they were here when we moved in.
    I bet you have fat squirrels.


  2. Pam
    Aug 28, 2006 @ 07:28:44

    Oh yeah, I love the Shagbark Hickory – the old trees here are one of the reasons why I bought this house.
    The squirrels are certainly well fed around here. All winter long I find leavings of hickory nut husks and cone cobs. It’s too funny to see them run around with these things in their mouths.


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