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Acorns Creating Human Hazard and Squirrel Feast October 2, 2009
Squirrel eating acorn
"The squirrels here are going crazy ... it's smorgasbord galore," — Don McCasland, Blue Hill Observatory.
Many New Englanders are being forced to dodge a bumper crop of acorns raining down across the region this autumn.

The nuts were unusually scarce last year, but millions of the hard-shelled bombs are now bopping joggers on the head, whacking gardeners’ backsides and cracking vehicle windshields.

“It hurt,’’ University of Massachusetts at Amherst professor Wesley Autio told The Boston Globe. “You stand outside and you can hear acorns hitting everything — cars, metal roofs, and it makes a tremendous sound.”

But the region’s largest acorn crop in memory is also allowing squirrels and other nut hoarders to fatten up for what some believe will be a brutal winter.

A cool summer along with record snowfalls and rain earlier this year have helped the acorns bloom larger and in greater numbers this fall.

Photo: Jeff Dalton - Fotolia