It’s going to be a lean winter.

Quercus shumardii (Shumard Red Oak).

One of the things I enjoy about our little homestead are the many large trees that surround it.  It’s a blessing, but also a challenge with the extended droughts we’ve experienced over the last few years.  We just couldn’t seem to put enough water on the trees this summer, given the water restrictions we had, and the fact that our sprinkler system is currently out of service.  Though quite stressed by the drought, most of them weathered through the summer.   We lost a redbud out back (*sniffle*), and I’m not sure about the ornamental pear out front — we’ll just have to see how it looks in the spring.

The Shumard Red Oak that graces the front yard is ginormous, and is a sight to behold when the leaves start to change.   Even though it lost many of its leaves this summer, there are still plently left to fall (and to rake up in about a month).

The strange thing is that i cannot find an acorn on the entire tree this year.   I guess that’s a result of the drought stress as well.   Last year, by comparison, was a bumper crop for acorns, and the squirrels went nuts (pardon the pun).   This year the little critters are going to have a hard time finding food — which means they’ll be trying to eat anything attached to, or around the house, that looks like food.  (So, be warned!)

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