Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bob Levy reports on the annual Black Walnut Extravaganza


Central Park Gray Squirrels congregated in an apparent celebration of the ripening of Black Walnuts. This particular contingent of eight excited furry mammals demonstrated the species preferred techniques and proper etiquette for the opening and eating of Black Walnuts. Here are some highlights of the event.

The tried and true “standard method” may not be a crowd pleaser but it gets the job done.


Students of the history of western civilization will surmise that the reclining method harkens back to antiquity. At the height Roman Empire eating while reclining was all the rage though I have no proof that these Central Park creatures are related to those of that period and geographic location. Still one must admit these contemporary squirrels have mastered the technique and execute it with aplomb and a suave sophistication, n’cest pas?


Last but not least was a demonstration of the so-called gravity assist method. It was obvious that this required the most skill but was not always as effective as the the other methods. In fact I watched three squirrels drop their Black Walnuts. One retrieved its nut only to drop it again while assuming a second gravity assist posture. Considering the outcomes I am not at all sure that gravity assisted these participants at all but there is no denying the artistry involved in the attempt. Please don’t attempt this yourself. Instead I suggest utilizing the standard method. And be sure to use a nutcracker. Bon appetite!.