Another project that resulted from my time on the trails this year has been my attempt to process the wild Black Walnuts that show up in the fall. I had cursed them in the past and one of our NIACC xc runners even rolled her ankle on some this year.
Once I began to crack and keep the nut meats, I began to learn more and work harder at it in order to acquire enough to use as a stocking stuffer gift for many friends and relatives at Christmas. I quickly wore out a simple mechanical nut-cracker that we inherited from my wife's mother and then used a canvas strap and hammer to do the initial cracking. At Christmas I received a very nifty, heavy-duty cracker from my son.
The quality of the nut-meats immediately improved. More whole pieces and less shattered meats. But what I am perplexed about, is how some squirrels have learned to extract the meats more selectively than others. I'll load a series of pictures to show what I mean.
Walnuts on the ground
Most squirrels just gnaw the top off
Smart squirrels go straight for the meat
Another beautiful day out and I was able to enjoy a combination of running and walking. I took some extra time for photos while on this outing.
10 miles for the day.