In the past few weeks caterpillars have been falling from the tree tops. I would have thought that this year would have been a hard year for any organism, especially a plump insect on the bottom of the food chain. But it seems that the caterpillars are fat, happy, and raining from the tree tops. I hope that this means good things for butterflies, moths, and other pollinators.
Earlier this year I took note of the size of some acorns outside my house in Fayetteville. The tiny acorns made me think that the summer's awful drought would have a devastating impact on the oak tree's acorn production. This could have started a butterfly effect that would have rippled throughout the forests and made species big and small starve.
However, this week was near Beaver Lake and found that the oak trees there were literally raining fat acorns. Upon further investigation I believe that white oak trees are producing a healthy crop of acorns while red oak trees seem to have tiny acorns. Perhaps this is because red oaks produce acorns biannually while white oaks produce acorns annually. But in that case I would have guess that the white oaks would be doing worst than the red. I am sure there are many factors that have contributed to the acorn production but I am curious if anyone else could comment on this matter.
Are the oak trees around your home raining acorns? Are the acorns tiny or huge?