Acorn,Peattie

“When the oak-tree is felled, the whole forest echoes with it; but a hundred acorns are planted silently by some unnoticed breeze.” Thomas Carlyle

That time of year is almost here. The first acorns are appearing on the ground. Soon unnoticed breezes will be planting acorns by the hundreds.

What is it about acorns? So much beauty and power in their origin, and in their future. And an under-stated elegance in their present. That little cap of theirs—seems as though it covers a little head full of thoughts of life, birth, and growth.

But acorns are also a food; an irreplaceable staple of woodland mammals—from squirrels and raccoons to deer and black bears. And pigs, taken to the forest to forage.

Where do they really come from anyway? If I think I have grasped their origin, then perhaps I have not yet comprehended my own ignorance; or my own origin. But greater ignorance it would be, not to be grateful—grateful for this astounding combination of beauty of form and functionality, the acorns that grace our landscape.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was a Scottish author and social critic, known among other things for his commentary on the industrial revolution.

Image credit:  The acorn of a bur oak. Donald Peattie, naturalist, author, artist.

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