Thursday, 20 September 2007

Hazel nuts

There have been steady, strong winds for the past few days and the hazel nuts are starting to be blown down from the trees. It's a race with the mice. I got a good haul this morning, from under the ancient lichen-garlanded hazel on the croft. Now they are in a bucket of water. The hazels here bear lots of nuts but a very low proportion have any flesh inside them. Whether they're for eating or sowing, it's best to sort out the viable nuts from the empty ones. Mice can presumably tell by picking them up - some must feel substantially heavier to a mouse. I'm too big and unsubtle to tell. But a bucket of water sorts them right out - the empty ones float, those with nuts inside the shell sink. Bingo. By tomorrow morning I'll know what proportion have a future.

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