LOTS OF ACORNS AND LOTS OF CHIPMUNKS. Earlier this summer, I was chatting with our mailman about chipmunks I had seen, and he told me that he and all the rest of the mailmen at our post office had taken note that they were seeing lots of chipmunks. Then, recently, Mary Jane commented on how many acorns we see on our walks.
An article in the Wall Street Journal by Jo Craven McGinty (November 5-6) gives an explanation for these local observations. There is a phenomenon called “mast years” in which oak trees will grow an unusually large number of acorns. This year the mast phenomenon has been observed on Long Island and in some species in central Pennsylvania.