Walnut tree

Years ago, a gardening day, I suddenly got a walnut with a tiny sprout in my hand. Probably a result of forgotten winter supplies, made by a squirrel. A little fragile green sprout with an enormous power and will to be big and tall one day. Very big and tall. What to do with that little sprout? Place it somewhere, and make a plan of where to have a walnut tree in the garden. I like plans. It wasn’t difficult to find a temporary place for a 1 inch walnut tree. Check, this part done.

The garden plan, though, had to be very good, if possible perfect, and that would take time to finish. After some years, I realized that it probably was necessary to speed up my decision a bit.  Time is a cheater, suddenly it runs faster than one ever had imagined. Or more correctly, what I ever had imagined, – because my neighbour apparently has a very good imagination, when it comes to walnut trees. I know because he has informed me about this several times.

One day the little tree began to produce walnuts, and I got curious to see how that would develop. A few more years passed, the amount of walnuts increased and the squirrels began to come and go along its branches to get nuts, as if it had become a squirrel seven eleven.

Perhaps this old squirrel didn’t forget the walnut back then, perhaps it had a long term plan. Though it didn’t live long enough to enjoy the sight and especially the taste of the walnuts, it made sure that a new generation would benefit from it. And as their ancestor did, they continue to dig nuts as winter storage – and to forget some. A perfect coordinated plan.

Any thoughts about eventually cutting the tree down have been disabled.  I am beginning to see my role in all this, as being a person who doesn’t spoil a long-time plan made by a squirrel. Perhaps I should try to convince my neighbour about the positive in that angle of the case. I have to mention to you, that the tree is placed in the far end of the garden, and that no human has been harmed by it’s shadow.

Never the less, I had a good time standing under the tree, waiting for the squirrel to come. As I stood there,  my eyes suddenly focused on a branch;  – a heart! – and one more, – and one more – hearts everywhere. I´ve never noticed that before, but I think I will take it personally.

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23 comments so far

  1. Guest on

    This is a good story. Why not give some of the nuts to your neighbor? Remember to use gloves when you handle the nuts before they are dry.

    • Giiid on

      You are right, the color from the soft part around the walnuts are very difficult to remove, if not impossible. We had to use chlorine to remove brown spots from the garden tiles. At first it was a bit of a mystery, how these spots had been made, as the tiles were far from the walnut tree. The explanation is, that the crows takes the nuts, and throw them at tiles / or at the street, in the hope that they will break. These craws are becomming more and more clever, I hope there is a limit for their skills!

  2. thedailyclick on

    What a sweet story! I think the tree is showing it’s appreciation that you planted it in your garden, and that’s why there are hearts everywhere.

    • Giiid on

      This is a nice thought, I´d like to imagine it to be truth 🙂 Thank you for reading this long story.

  3. sartenada on

    How lovely!

    All the photos are great and I love them. Squirrel is not easy to take photos and You succeeded very well. The heart in the tree, is it natural (made by Mother Nature) or track of cutting of tree?

    • Giiid on

      The heart is natural made. Perhaps it is a result of how thin branches can manage the weight of walnuts, without breaking? We know that everything in nature is optimized in every way, so that could be an answer. Thank you for the nice compliments about the squirrels. I have two in my garden, they are slowly getting used to me, though not always happy to see me. It depends on if they know where I am, and doesn´t get scared by a sudden move.

  4. WildBlack on

    Beautiful post. The second photo is my favorite 🙂

    • Giiid on

      Hi WildBlack, Thank you for the nice words. The heart is natural made, I was very surprised to find out, close-up photography can be enlighten, as you probably agree from your own beautiful photos.

  5. milkayphoto on

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your delightful tale, Birgitte! I LOVE how you think!

    I, too, imagine the legacy I am (hopefully) leaving the critters and landscape. Until now however, I never ONCE gave a single thought that perhaps I am merely a puppet in the grand scheme of things? Heavan knows the squirrels, chipmunks and birds have me wrapped around their tiny little fingers (and talons, in the case of the birds) so it is indeed not out of the rhealm of possibility. In either case, I am happy to oblige as my life would not be as sweet without them or my garden!

    And yes! Yous SHOULD take the hearts personally! They are to thank you for your contribution! Hugs! 🙂

    • Giiid on

      What a wonderful long comment Tracy, thank you very much. I guess perspective of things depend on the actual situation, time, or ones mood. The busy daily life needs it´s own practical thinking, not too much wondering, but then there are these moments of feeling close to nature, in one way or another, which invites to reflect and see and learn more. Taking photos are a good way to get there, at least when it comes to pictures of animals.( I mean plants doesn´t care much about noice, as far as I know)

      I can imagine how close you feel to the nature and animals around you, – and as I write this, it hits me that they of course see you as a collegue, – another animal in the wood. One of the good guys who always share her food. 🙂

      • milkayphoto on

        Aw, you are too kind, Birgitte. The poor critters looked a bit shell-shocked this morning as we received over 5 inches of rain in 2 hours time. Flooding is everywhere, including my landscape. I squished across the yard to my usual spot and I think I actually saw relief on their little faces!

  6. Nye on

    It’s amazing how much a little tree can offer, and the heart shapes look amazing. Love the second image, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw it.

    • Giiid on

      I was so surprised too, I have had that tree for many years, but never seen this. On the other hand, who would think of looking for interesting branch – marks? Which indicates that there must be much more to find. I will think of something…
      Thank you for reading my story, Ginger.

  7. Gerry on

    This may be the most enchanting of all your posts, which is saying a good deal. I thought the little heart shapes–especially the one peeking up from the circles of bark–looked like squirrel faces. Happy squirrel faces. I had never thought about squirrels having long-term plans but I like the idea. Perhaps many of the things we dismiss as “instinct” are really wisdom.

    • Giiid on

      Thank you Gerry, my great teacher in handling words, you make me very glad. I guess this means a flag or a golden star in my little book? Everyone should have a book ready for golden stars, – perhaps we can make this a new trend?

  8. Maggie on

    I love the heart. Such a great find!

    • Giiid on

      Thank you Maggie. 🙂

  9. isathreadsoflife on

    What a beautiful story ! “Birgitte, The Squirrel and the Walnut Tree”. The heart in the tree says it all. Time has its own way that we cannot always control. I love travelling on and around the tree through your great pictures. Delightful post, thanks dear Birgitte.

    • Giiid on

      Thank you Isa, for joining this moment of wondering with me. One could spend endless amount of time-wondering about time…luckily there are daily activities which forces one to take a break and get things done. I suppose I have to thank the squirrel for the opportunity to find this hearts. 🙂

  10. flandrumhill on

    I love the idea of a squirrel seven eleven. They know a good thing when they see it!

    It truly is a wonder how squirrels inadvertently plant food sources for the next generation.

    Beautiful photos.

    • Giiid on

      Thank you, I am glad you like it. From the start, there was 2 small squirrels, living at our roof. It seems that they have splitted up now, and shared the gardens around here. The one who have kept our garden has obviously got used to me, I know because one day, when I was passing another garden, I heard a squirrel in a tree close to the fence. I stopped to see it, and was very amused by a little fellow, trying to scare me away all the best he could; by making clicking sounds, waving his tail, by staring at me or make sudden attack moves. All of it very funny, and completely different from “my” squirrel, who almost doesn´t take notice of me anymore. I hope “my” squirrel doesn´t get too tame, though, he is a wild animal and have to keep his natural instincts alive.

  11. kanniduba on

    SUCH a special post!!! Loved reading this! 🙂 Very glad you chose to save that little seedling. Beautiful.


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