We all know and love acorns or as some say the oaknut. They seem to capture the imagination and run with it. In fact, tiny acorns have been capturing the human imagination for so long, appearing in artwork, woodcarving, and needlework for centuries.
Acorns take between 6 and 24 months (depending on the species of oak) to mature. The Acorn is too heavy for wind dispersal, so they require help from other animals to spread. Squirrels and jays are great seed dispersers and scatter-hoard acorns in caches for future use. They effectively plant acorns in a variety of locations in which it is possible for them to germinate and thrive.
The oak tree is capable of producing acorns that germinate on a different schedules. Generally, ones that are be buried and will germinate the following year. Then every three to four years the oak will produce an acorn that germinates the year its buried. This provides a problem for the squirrels as once sprouted they are less nutritious and indigestible. The squirrels know this, how I have no idea but will bite of the base of the acorn to stop it germinating. Smart arses.
Acorns were a source of food for many cultures around the world. They need to be properly prepared by selecting high-quality specimens and leaching out the bitter tannins in water.
In many cultures the oak is sacred, and is often connected to legends of deities who interact with mortals.
The Celts, Romans, Greeks, and Teutonic tribes all had legends connected to the mighty oak; in particular it was tied to deities that had control over thunder, lightning, and storms.
The acorn is a symbol of strength and power, as well as perseverance and hard work.
Two twigs of oak tied together with red thread to form an equal armed cross was a talisman that could be worn or hung up in the home for protection, strength and security against evil.
Acorns placed on window ledges would guard against lightning strikes.
Soaking feet in a footbath infusion of oak bark and leaves would not only relieve weary feet, but also guide people on their journey.
To catch a falling oak leaf would bring luck and prosperity