May. 2, 2017


Here's a look at the male flowers of pignut hickory.  This tree had been growing on a creek bank, and had fallen over because of erosion.  That spring it seemed to put out a particularly abundant number of flowers.  As if it was trying to make one last spectacular effort to reproduce.  And to feed the squirrels.  Hickories make up as much as a quarter of the diets of squirrels.  They were also part of the diet of Indians.  The skulls of Indians from before agricultural times had worn down teeth.  That was from eating nut mash.  Rather than pick out the meats from all the complicated hickory and walnut shells, they would just mash them all up and eat the result.  After they switched to corn and pumpkins, their teeth didn't wear down.  Then they got tooth decay.