We take the Fall very literally around here. While the much more poetic and genteel term, "Autumn" flows better off the tongue, it's much more a propos to call it Fall and I'll tell you why. You see we're fortunate to be in this old house at just this time when the trees that were planted so long ago have now grown into their most mature and enormous stately state. The one above sits just about 70 feet or so off the side of the house and is the closest culprit for producing large nuts this time of year. They don't just drop, they rain to the ground, especially with any amount of wind. And heaven forbid you be under the tree when this happens or you're liable to get a serious pelting. I should know. I'll spare you the details.
(look closely in the picture above at the size of nut in the middle, and the regular-sized acorn top to the right of it for comparison)
They create such a racket hitting the metal roofs of the house and the out buildings that friends and animals alike are startled and involuntarily say things like, "What the ____ was that?" We're so used to it we hardly notice. The end result is a virtual carpet of large, marble-like nuts, waiting for unsuspecting victims.
Our kids know by now that you don't run on the nuts. You don't walk fast on the nuts. You don't gallop, skip, jump or pogo stick on the nuts. I forget to impart this unspoken knowledge to the friends they have over to play and inevitably they drop like flies. It's almost like a cartoon, where the character seems to run in place, suspend briefly in midair and thud to the ground. And thud they do.
As most kids will, however, mine make use of the nuts. They become part of play stew, or are strung together to make large letters. They are perfect for burying, or just carrying around in buckets and pockets and wagons for other imaginary purposes. Thus far they've not become projectiles. Yet.
I'll take the nuts. Just so long as I can still have the tree they come from and all it's shade and green.