Oak Woodland Ramble

Oak Woodland Ramble
By Michelle Brodie
January 14, 2016

September ushers in the fall

And a time for gathering acorns

Competing with the Black-tailed Deer, Western Gray Squirrel, and many creatures great and small

Here where the Paiute, Miwok, and Volvon once stood

It was acorns they collected

But time passed them by and their ways are no longer respected

Vast herds of bison once roamed the endless prairies

Now just wheat and corn fields and dairies

Deer, Squirrel, Miwok, Volvon hold vast reservoirs of knowledge

Protein and Omega 6 fatty acids of the acorn make it vastly superior to wheat and this they knew without going to college

September is a time for an Oak Woodland Ramble

Searching for the acorn of the California Black Oak is where we aim to amble

The Western Gray Squirrel has become my nemesis

Wait too late in fall and you’ll only find ones he has missed

Scampering away while being strafed by the Scrub Jay & Acorn Woodpecker, both intent on storing their loot

In holes, in trees, and buried in the ground

Anywhere away from the crush of the human boot

Discarding the ones with fungus or small holes; by November the only ones for human hands to be found

But where can I find the sacred Black Oak with the oily yellow insides the Paiute favored?

I see only Blue Oaks and Interior Live Oaks whose acorns they must not have savored

For their long skinny acorns are in abundance

Making me wonder if their insides will provide any sustenance

Small leaves of the Blue Oak litter the woodland floor making me want to lament

Winter approaches and there will only be time to experiment

Only toward the end of our journey do we stumble upon  a grove of Black Oaks with their massive trunks and large lobed but pointed leaves dominating the woodland floor

But alas their acorns are already someone else’s granary store

The meager Live Oak acorn will have to do

The chill wind sweeps in, rain soon to follow and time to bid Fall adieu

It’s the end of our oak woodland ramble

Central California