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Acorns Gone; Nature Does What GOP Fails to Do

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An article in today's Washington Post, Acorn Watchers Wonder What Happened to Crop reports that in many parts of America, the acorns are gone and squirrells are acting as though they are starving. The article starts,

"The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn't find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head.

Then calls started coming in about crazy squirrels. Starving, skinny squirrels eating garbage, inhaling bird feed, greedily demolishing pumpkins. Squirrels boldly scampering into the road. And a lot more calls about squirrel roadkill.

But Simmons really got spooked when he was teaching a class on identifying oak and hickory trees late last month. For 2 1/2 miles, Simmons and other naturalists hiked through Northern Virginia oak and hickory forests. They sifted through leaves on the ground, dug in the dirt and peered into the tree canopies. Nothing.

"I'm used to seeing so many acorns around and out in the field, it's something I just didn't believe," he said. "But this is not just not a good year for oaks. It's a zero year. There's zero production. I've never seen anything like this before.""

Sure enough, I haven't seen any acorns in the suburban and rural environs of Pennsylvania where I go. How about you? Seeing any acorns under foot on your scurrying through the woods?

Now, during the recent presidential election, the GOP, with the help of FOX news and related right wing echo chamber facilitators, attempted to eradicate the organization A.C.O.R.N., which was working hard at Get Out The Vote (GOTV) activities all around the nation. If those ACORNs had disappeared, we would have had a reasonable explanation.

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Fortunately, oak trees live hundreds of years and a year without acorns is not necessarily a disaster. Apparently, in southern parts of the country, the oaks ARE dropping acorns, as one hunting article published in Georgia reports, advising that locations where healthy acorns are on the ground make for good deer hunting. Also, in Florida, one paper reports, "Large acorn and nut crop due to dry weather."

And sure enough, in the WaPo article, one expert speculates that the reason for the absence of acorns in the area this year may be due to the fact that when the oaks released their pollen, there was six times the normal level of rain. Hopefully, next year, the acorns will return, the squirrells will no longer be hungry.

Of course, a conservative blogger at the National Review observes that, of course, in the WaPo article, there is speculation that global warming is involved.

Note that this article has done no such thing, though we could also theorize that the oak trees, sturdy things of great integrity, both metaphoric and biologic, that they are, may have just decided they'd had enough of the excess of right wing neanderthals in the area and finally just decided to refuse to produce more acorns. Hopefully, if this far-fetched theory is the case, the Oaks will judge Obama and his people more kindly and start to feed the squirrels again next year. We won't deal with the potential to treat acorns and squirrels as benchmark and congressional "pork" metaphors. We'll leave that to the National Review.

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.

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Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

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