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Acorns on the Roof

posted Sep 23, 2009, 9:39 AM by   [ updated Sep 29, 2009, 11:26 AM by Dan Dunbar ]
It is acorn season. The tall oak tree behind my house is dropping its acorns. Some of them bounce of the cement patio. Others ricochet off the metal roof of my neighbor's shed sounding like exploding firecrackers. When I am in bed at night, acorns dive bomb the roof of my house then hop, skip, and jump off the edge to the lawn. They sound like squirrels tap dancing over my head. 

When I was a boy, we had oak trees near our house and plenty of nervous, striped chipmunks scurrying around to gather them down into their holes for the winter. Sometimes while climbing trees I found stashes of acorns hidden there by a forgetful squirrel or bluejay. Those oak trees could produce buckets of acorns. I should know, because I filled my sand pails with them and lugged them into my fort to use as ammunition in our neighborhood battles where all the bullets and bombs were gathered from nature's arsenal - acorns that stung, sticky milkweed pods and furry cat o'nine tails that exploded on impact covering the victim with their fuzzy guts, handfuls of chokecherries that left red, juicy stains, and pricker-burr balls that clung tenaciously to hair and clothing. These wars were not waged in anger. We fought for fun, making all sorts of sound effects with our mouths, dying extravagant deaths, and making as big a mess as possible, much to our mothers' dismay.

I haven't lived in a house near an oak tree for decades now, and it sure is nice to see the little green acorns wearing their beret-like caps again. Soon these nuts will turn brown, the days will grow chillier, the fragrant aroma of dying oak leaves will fill the air, and I will listen to the last crickets chirping away at night as I snuggle under the covers of my bed feeling like I am eight years old again. Autumn is my favorite season of all.