I just got back from a rather short walk up the ridge, and the acorns are falling now. Black shiny nuggets with golden cups, are the ripe fruit of the Canyon Live Oak, native and prolific on this wild Northern California mountain landscape. I find the young trees shrub-like with serrated leaves, and observe them transition into smoother edged leaves, sometimes having both leaf shapes on the same branch, but to eventually become the mature oak with mostly smooth foliage. The photo shows both types from the same young tree, and how lucky was I to spot a fully developed acorn still attached to the limb!
What I love most about this oak is the black acorns that absolutely litter the pathway as I meander along the ridge, beckoning Autumn, and cooler temperatures, and rain. Sigh. Right now we’re having heat wave after heatwave , scorching temperatures so typical of Northern California. One thing is for sure, there are only three more weeks of summer now before the Autumnal equinox, and my inner compass faces Autumn as my only vision, and to think of rain now is to think of a returning oasis, an all consuming and fervent wish.
Not only do the acorns fall, but I find my tears fall too, as Emma, who is now twelve, does not wish to walk with me up the ridge now, but to nap at home while I try to find the incentive to trek out on my own. Admittedly, it is not easy, nor is it very often, and I have found myself in dire need of a change of heart for this Autumn, this acorn fall, leaf fall, tear fall.
I must try to be unafraid of the elements out on my own, and capture the wildlife in spirit to bring back to my Emma.
Ah, sweet friend…it is a feeling in my heart that Emma is a bit dispirited from the heat and her recent repairs, but that she will perk up and accompany you when the days grow cooler. I wonder if videos of various woodland creatures might tempt her. Perhaps she know that, they too, are eschewing activity, wisely awaiting the change of seasons. (Not that you aren’t wise for taking your constitutionals.)
On another note (regarding another one of your many talents), I never knew that any tree changed its leaf shape like that. Thanks for sharing your photos. I’ll pray for rain for you and strength for Emma. Soon…so soon. I wonder if this year will be as good for the vines as it has been for acorns. Good thing you don’t have wild boar…or do you?
My dear dear Terry, thank you for sending your encouragement, it is very heart felt. ❤ There aren't wild boar that I've seen on this mountain, but they're probably here somewhere. Deer , wild turkey, coyotes, bob cats, mountain lions, and is rumored the long gone bear might not be myth anymore… maybe they are hanging out with the boar in a Wind In The Willows sort of setting, having sandwiches together and chatting about the weather, while Mr Toad has certainly gotten lost on these winding roads….lol .
We are bracing ourselves for a record-breaking heatwave this coming weekend, I don't even want to think about it, or wild fires, or anything upsetting or bad… just pet Emma, and give her the meds the vet prescribes for her arthritis (meloxicam) and jsut hunker down, like a mighty fortress here, writing patterns and knitting wool. Gaw… am I crazy? Wool? Really??? 🙂
Kisses & hugs to you, xx
These acorns are beautiful. We don’t see many of the black ones down here at all. I always find that the shorter squatter acorns to be the most fairy tale like, with their caps like little elven hats. Be safe on the Mt. and give pets to Emma from me.
There are about five species up here, and ones with the short pouchy little shapes too. Funny thing is, the Black Oak has tan acorns, and the Canyon Oak has black ones! lol!
I will go give Emma a nice pet from you… xx
I should add that although I researched a little on native California Oaks, I can’t find a single photo of acorns as black as the ones the trees up here grow, so I am wondering about that! 🙂