Good Lord. Those hickory nuts.

They keep falling on my house. Sometimes they hit the roof. Sometimes it's my ac unit outside (that's really loud). Sometimes I go outside and dodge them as they rain down from the shagbark hickory trees. Or, are the squirrels aiming for me? Hoping they'll crack the nuts open—and get rid of me and my dog Axel in the process?

I don't think I've ever seen (or heard) this many hickory nuts. And I've never seen this many squirrels in our yard. For years the only black squirrels we saw were in East Lansing, but now—along with the dozens of big fox squirrels—we have one (maybe more) black squirrel living close enough to see every day in our yard, in DeWitt. Must be the hickory nuts.

I have a feeling we're getting toward the end of the bombardment. And then, all that will be left is the raking. And fat squirrels. I imagine they'll be quite fat and desperate as winter approaches to find the last few nuts on the ground. They'll search and search and possibly get engrossed in their work. And maybe they won't see Axel—frozen, eyes locked and only a few feet behind. I've never actually seen Axel get a squirrel. I did see him once gobble up a rabbit in our front yard, though.

But this year—so many squirrels. And so many hickory nuts. And a glint in Axel's eyes.

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