I went off in search of black walnuts and enjoyed some wildflowers along the way. I also saw the backside of a whitetail deer running off. I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to get the running deer, but can show evidence that they are around.
The likely cause of the bark missing on the sapling in the right photo is a buck rubbing antlers on it. The area I was walking in had been worked over by earth moving equipment 5 years ago to reroute a stream so that drainage would be improved for a nearby housing development. Now there are young sycamores, oaks, and pines growing and providing wildlife habitat.
The only walnuts I gathered were the ones in my in-laws yard but it was a nice walk in the acres adjacent to their yard. I collected a 4 gallon bucket of nuts and put them on the driveway to smash the outer layer with the car. I first had them all in a bunch on the driveway, but separated them a bit as I noticed only those on the perimeter were being broken up. The tire going up and down effectively broke the outer layer of the nuts. I’ll now leave them in the garage for a couple months to dry, then take a hammer to them.
The herbalists I met at area farmers markets came by for hawthorns. They use them in preparing a heart healthy tincture. Any harvesting is more pleasant when done with friends. And what old guy wouldn’t welcome harvesters like these?