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Ho-nee-um trail in the fall

[Printed script of introduction and fall tour],   pp. 14-29

Page 20

You can see the shape of the bur oak leaf on the 
ground. Can you find the acorns? Acorns are the 
seeds of the oak trees. They provide food for animals. 
The Indians also used them for food. 
   The bur oak is a fire-resistant, sun-loving tree 
   with thick corky bark. The leaf shape is 
   unusual - sometimes described as having a 
   "wasp waist" and rounded lobes. The acorn 
   is very characteristic with a rough almost 
   shingled cap. The fallen leaves provide food 
   for many organisms in the soil and in the 
   process are decomposed, returning nutrients 
   to the soil. 
Here is a common animal found wherever oaks grow. 
To get ready for winter the squirrel grows a thicker 
coat and stores food. Have you seen a squirrel storing 
acorns? How does this help the oak tree? 
   The big idea emphasized here and in other 
   slides is that plants help animals and animals 
   help plants. In this case the squirrel will bury 
   acorns at some distance from the parent tree, 
   thereby helping to disperse the seeds. The 
   squirrel will not find every acorn this winter 
   so perhaps a new oak will grow. 
Across the lawn from the oaks are the Three Sentinels. 
Can you tell from this picture what time of year it is? 
Did all three trees lose their leaves at the same time? 
   We encourage coming often to Ho-nee-um to 
   compare changes due to the seasons. The 
   Three Sentinels are examples of this change. 
The mowed grass In the clearing seems to have 
bumpy places and small mounds of dirt. A small 
animal has been making underground tunnels in order 
to find worms and grubs to eat. The tunnel-maker 
is a mole. 

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