Driving my son to school today, an acorn dive-bombed the roof of the car. If you have ever experienced an acorn dive-bombing, then you probably know it doesn’t sound like a wee tink-of-a-tap on your roof, but more like a loud crack that reverberates from above and stops conversation. Which is what totally happened for us.
The dive-bombing will pretty much carry on from September to November.
Acorns falling are one of the harbingers of autumn in my city, and the dive-bombing will pretty much carry on from September to November. After the initial surprising and convo-stopping dive-bomb, we actually got pretty stoked, because, well, fall is here. As acorns have long been a symbol of autumn and harvest, and have been vital to winter preparation throughout the natural world, acorns have appeared in the Old Stories for time immemorial.
Fall is here!
Acorns have traditionally been a symbol of abundance. Fairies are said to have worn the tops for caps, decoration, and general celebrations. Oak trees are reported to be home to fairies and gnomes — the older the tree, the larger the bands/families of Other Folk — so acorns factor strongly in the daily lives of fairies. Acorns symbolize fertility, good luck, can protect against lightning strikes, and if there is an abundance of acorns, everyone can expect a hearty winter. If you’re short of cash, plant an acorn in the dark of the moon and you will soon receive money.
The older the tree, the larger the bands/families of Other Folk
Acorns are revered among the Celts as a part of the sacred oak tree. Acorns and their parent oak trees as symbols of fairy appear in legends the world over — often in combination with other trees of power.
Acorns are considered one of the most important food sources for a variety of animals, birds, and insects. Not only are they high-carb balls of serious energy, they are often most abundant in fall and winter: time when other foods are scarce. Acorns are so important that many animals shift habitats so they live near a good supply of acorns. Over a hundred species of vertebrates rely on acorns including deer, several species of squirrel, rabbits, mice, vole, foxes, birds such as quail, turkey, and several species of ducks. Even insects such as the acorn weevil rely on the mighty nut.
Acorns are so important that many animals shift habitats so they live near a good supply of acorns.
What’s really cool is that oak trees and the creatures that feed on the acorns have a symbiotic relationship in which they work together. The animals eat the acorns and in turn spread the acorns around — picture the squirrel or bluejay burying a nut — thereby increasing the chances for future seedling germination. What’s more, not only do they work together, but oak trees have adapted to this relationship depending on the species. This article describes how white oaks and red oaks produce acorns with different levels of tannins and germination rates so as to capitalize on the eating/storing patterns of creatures that eat their acorns.
This symbiotic sharing and participating is such a subtle, but powerful, reminder of how interconnected we all are, and how once again, nature reminds us the beauty and sustenance of cooperation.