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September 13, 2013 - 6:18am

Come apple harvest, there's never a shortage of furry visitors to our yard

posted by JIM NIGRO in outdoors, nature, red squirrel, cottontails, woodchuck.

This cottontail no sooner emerged from dense cover when it rose up on its hind legs to sample the green growth from which it came......

but rather than opting for fresh greens, it chooses some brown drying growth - not that it matters, for this is but an appetizer. His main course is waiting beneath the apple tree.

Regardless of the season, there is never a shortage of furry visitors to our yard and this time of year, be it rabbit, chipmunk, squirrel or woodchuck, they all come to feast on the apples.  

Unlike the rabbits and woodchucks, this red squirrel isn't limited to dining on the ground. I'm sure he would much rather have pine cones from a Norway spruce but he's learned to take what he can get. And speaking of woodchucks, that green growth in the background is a travel corridor, so to speak.....

it's one of my wife's flower beds and the woodchuck uses it for cover. Here he's slinking past the ferns and hostas on the way to his dinner. Once he's sure the coast is clear, he'll waddle out into the open and grab an apple. If undisturbed, he will then stand on his haunches and begin gnawing away.

Mardell Lamb
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Hi Jim!
Love our furry friends, too. Have an old apple tree out back that drops delicious treats for all to enjoy. Your pictures are always enjoyable. Thank you!
Have a great weekend. Embrace FALL!

JIM NIGRO
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Thanks, Mardell.....I will - and you do the same!!

Billie Owens
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Off topic but, speaking of things falling from trees, I believe we have an enormous black walnut tree in our back yard. It has lots of green orbs on it about the size of golf balls. The skin is leathery feeling and a friend says you could drive a car over them and they might not crack. I've eaten black walnut pie and ice cream and find their distinctive flavor appealing. Can I harvest these myself? Do I wait until they turn black outside? Do I put them in the oven before trying to crack them? Or what?

Aaron Henning
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Great pics as always Jim..

JIM NIGRO
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Thanks, Aaron.....its good to hear from you. Some of our pics posted on the Batavian have been taken in the area behind your old homestead. Still remember getting up at 3 a.m. one morning and viewing Saturn through your brother Russ' telescope....what an incredible sight!

Please give my regards to the family and thanks again.

Jim

JIM NIGRO
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Hi Billie.....Removing walnut hulls can be a chore and they will stain your hands. Try placing them on a hard surface (driveway?) and rolling them back and forth under your foot. Having removed the hulls the nut itself needs to dry - the longer it dries the easier to remove the contents. But dry them in a "squirrel proof" area.

a few years ago I collected walnuts that had fallen and placed them in two 5 gal. pails. I set them in the garage to let them turn black, thinking it would be easier to remove the hulls. Squirrels or chipmunks or both took every one!

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