Having previously proclaimed my hearty dislike of summer, I feel the need to exclaim about the wonderful days of fall that we are experiencing in Central Illinois. Blue skies, cool breezes, warm (not hot) sunshine, combines in the fields, life doesn’t get much better than this!
One evening this week I stopped the work I was supposed to be doing and took my book out on my deck and sat down to enjoy the weather. As interesting as the book was, I found it difficult to concentrate. A rustling in the oak tree caught my eye. Taking the time to really look at the oak, I discovered that it was covered with acorns! The tree is quite large and I’m sure I’m safe in saying that there are thousands of acorns on this tree. With my binoculars I searched to see what was rustling the leaves. Any guesses? It was blue jays. I did not realize that blue jays eat acorns.
I watched one jay hop from limb to limb till he found the acorn he wanted. Snatching it in his beak, he’d move to a larger branch and put the nut under his claw. Then, he would tap the nut with that long beak until he got to the meat inside. I knew when he was finished as the shell of the acorn fell through the leaves to the ground far below. Although I was expecting it to sound like a woodpecker noise when he pecked at the acorn, there was no sound until he rustled the leaves to find the next nut!
At one time there were three blue jays in the tree at the same time. Thankfully, they were busy with the eating so I didn’t have to hear them screeching.
While scanning the tree with the binoculars, I also noticed butterflies that were resting on many of the leaves. I have no idea why they were there. Do they eat something off of oak trees? But, noticing them made me look up and see the monarchs that have been lazily flying around. They are quite high and seem to float on the wind with nothing in mind but floating. No noise. Just beauty.
Of course, the little chipmunk who loves my garden and lives under my front step was also shopping in the oak tree for his winter supplies. Several years ago we cut off a lower branch to make mowing easier, but left about 6 inches of the branch on the tree. The chipmunk likes to sit there and be still. I think he’s checking to see if I’m OK with him shopping in my oak tree.
One of these days I’m going to have to go out and rake up all the refuse left behind by these shoppers. And next spring, I’ll probably find the ones I missed have come up as little trees.
What beauty to see a large oak tree with birds feeding in the branches, squirrels and chipmunks hiding food for winter, butterflies resting on the leaves and the wind sending acorns falling to plant new trees. What a Creator to think of the possibilities.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.