Pat Shingleton: "This Chore is 'Nuts'!"
For the last four years I have monitored acorns accumulating against the curb in our neighborhood. 2010 was a banner year for these nuts which was also a cold winter with a snow episode. The last two seasons found fewer acorns and additional evidence of a mild winter. In my younger years and in our backyard in Pennsylvania, the butternut and walnut trees were ready for collection in late September. My mom insisted that we collect the fallen nuts with gloves. The two trees provided a couple of bushels of walnuts and butternuts that were stored in the basement and were one of the key ingredients her famous Christmas cookies. Why the gloves? The butternut residue stained your hands and could only be removed with gasoline or turpentine.