Sunday, 30 October 2016

Winter hoardings.

We have two walnut trees along the edge of our garden.   They have been there for thirty years or more but they never do really well - perhaps their position is wrong, or we are too far North for them.   At the most they have around fifty or sixty nuts on each year, and, although the farmer gathers them, we always find  that the nuts inside shrivel before they are ripe enough to eat.

This year the farmer picked them all as usual, putting them into a wooden crate and carrying them into the big shed (this is the shed which houses much of our farm equipment over the winter).   There were around a hundred walnuts.    When he went into the shed the next morning the crate was empty.   Something had taken the lot overnight.

Now I like to think that there are quite a few mice who have chosen to spend the cold winter in a state of semi hibernation in the shed and that during that one day they carried off the walnuts to stock up their winter larders.

I must say I do not begrudge them a single walnut - bon apetite mice wherever you have chosen to store them.

32 comments:

Rachel said...

I think you had squirrels raiding the walnuts, not mice.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I agree with Rachel, squirrels are the likeliest culprits.

Gwil W said...

A tramp sleeping in your hedge springs to mind. I seem to recall something.

Heather said...

There must have been an army of wee beasties to shift all those walnuts, but maybe they just had a very busy night.

Sue said...

That's a lot of nuts to disappear overnight.

Cro Magnon said...

Small boys? Or look for a squirrel with exceptionally large cheeks.

Sue in Suffolk said...

Squirrels more likely - rats with bushy tails as we used to call them when they nicked all our walnuts and hazel nuts.

Derek Faulkner said...

I agree on the squirrel answers, what a nuisance those animals in the countryside are.

donna baker said...

Perhaps a good pruning would wake them up or a new graft.

jinxxxygirl said...

LOL! We leave the walnuts to the squirrels and gobble them up they do! For two years now i picked up multiple bags of walnuts at my sister in laws house .. brought them home and spread them out on the ground for the squirrels.... i know i'm crazy...Well just the other day we look over on the property right next to ours and there are two huge walnut trees just full of nuts.... and here i thought i was doing something special for them...lol ah well... i meant well... Hugs! deb

Midmarsh John said...

Seems like your mice are stocking up for Christmas.

Yorkshire Pudding said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom Stephenson said...

I am thinking that if a squirrel or mouse (or - more likely - rat) had taken them, they would have sampled at least one before gathering them all up and left bits of nibbled shell as evidence. I blame your neighbours of the human variety.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

If your pile of walnuts was here, I'd vote that a black squirrel took them. We have walnut trees here, but not the same good variety that you have. The squirrels bury the walnuts everywhere, including my urns and window boxes. I have tiny walnut trees growing up all over my flower beds which I have to pull out every year. It's a shame your husband went to all the trouble of collecting them. -Jenn

Frances said...

Your disappearing walnut tale has somehow reminded me of The Tailor of Gloucester. Shame that there was no thank you note. xo

Joanne Noragon said...

I have a mental image of a line of mice passing the nuts. A nut brigade against winter, like a water brigade against fire.

Gail, northern California said...

Matters not who the little night-time thieves were, your story is a delight.

angryparsnip said...

What a wonderful story for a beautiful Sunday.

cheers, parsnip

galant said...

This is such a coincidence! Towards the end of summer, our walnut tree was absolutely groaning under the weight of fruit. Then our squirrel, as I call him, reappeared after the summer months on his holidays, and we kept finding half-finished nuts on the ground, which we'd sweep up. "I hope he leaves us some ..." I said but he must've brought his rellies as well because the tree has been stripped bare, there are no nuts whatsoever, not even any husks left on the ground. It's a large, mature tree, and we are truly amazed that there isn't a nut in sight when a few weeks ago it was full of nuts and we were looking forward to a bumper harvest. Do they know something we don't? That they're storing for a harsh winter?
One of my earlier blog posts is about our walnut tree, if you look at www.margaretpowling.com and scroll down you might find it.
Margaret P

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Hazel nuts grow wild here and the squirrels love them - they will toss them at you is you wander under the Hazel Nut tree.

Dawn McHugh said...

my walnut tree isnt big enough yet to bear fruit but it does I will be guarding it from furry thieves

Librarian said...

Like Tom Stephenson said in his comment, the absence of any opened bits of walnut lying around makes me suspect a human thief rather than squirrels or mice.
My Dad collects walnuts from an orchard near my parents' allotment. The owners never show up and leave everything (apples and other fruit, too) just to rot on the ground, which is a shame. Otherwise, my Dad would never take anything from their orchard without asking permission or trading something from his own produce.
These nuts are usually really good, large and tasty, and my Mum uses them creatively in the kitchen all winter. I like them sprinkled on a salad.

Rachel said...

I dont think Weave has human walnut thieves in the Dales apart from elves and fairies from the bottom of the garden.

thelma said...

Must admit squirrels are a pest, in Bath I planted several nut trees, and the wretches always picked them green. We have a hazel tree here and the squirrels always picks them too early.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for all your comments. The farmer insists that his shed is definitely squirrel proof and he is fairly certain(??!!) that there are no rats in there. So I am just imagining a sweet
story about a family of mice who spent the whole night carrying the nuts to their winter store and stacking them neatly. So don't spoil it for me!

And YP - I have deleted your comments. I thought them very funny but also thought it best to delete them in case they came up on Google in some guise and the man you mentioned read them!

Sue said...

I would loved to have watched the too-ing and fro-ing needed to steal all your nuts, a busy night indeed for whichever little creatures it was that took them :-)

The Poetry Bus said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PAT! Have a great day.

Countryside Tales said...

Could it be rats? They nick the peanuts in shells I put out for our badgers :o)

Kim Gibson said...

For us, the storers are squirrels, and I like to watch them busily digging away at the tree base and the leaves in our garden.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to The Poetry Bus for birthday wishes.

Gerry Snape said...

...rats...mice ...squirrels...food for the wild things!!...and happy birthday Pat!!

Heather said...

Happy Birthday Pat - I hope the weather has been kind and that you have had a lovely day.