|A sample of this year's pecan harvest|
A good year for pecans and hickory nuts both. Not in terms of quantity, because pecans are something I only get gleanings of after the squirrels have had their way with them. Squirrels are greedy, wasteful little buggers. They start feasting on them while they are still green, often only cracking and eating the end of a pecan before dropping it to the ground, at which point the ants take over. I look at the mess under the pecan and hickory trees, and wonder if they'll be any left for us.
For the past two years I've dutifully collected pecans, only to actually net about one good one, for every 7 or 8 or 9 cracked open. I found the yield very discouraging, so that I would only work toward getting enough for a favorite recipe or two and leave the rest. Truth be told, I wasn't even going to bother with them this year. But when I spotted the first few on the ground, whole and lovely, I couldn't help but to pick them up. I immediately noticed how heavy they felt in the palm of my hand. I cracked a few to discover lovely nutmeats inside.
This year my results are the reverse of previous years, and I'm getting very few bad ones. I already have two quarts in the freezer (my time passer as I waited as a standby helper while Dan was moving the wiring from the old breaker box to the new).
The pecans are still falling and every day I manage to collect a pocketful or two. I am looking forward to holiday baking and it will be nice to have my own stash in the freezer as well.