Whichever definition you use, the mast is plentiful in the forests this year.
Here in the Mid-Ohio Valley they are sticking to the woods, not needing to risk exposure by eating nuts or persimmons fallen in the road and they don't seem to need to graze on broad leaf ground vegetation like usual. Also, there are less squirrels running across our fields searching for food to store for the rapidly approaching winter.
I think that our cool wet spring let the trees to make plenty of fruit and nuts even though the fall has been pretty dry.
On my walk yesterday morning, I found plenty of choices for the herbaceous animals and birds.
Vines are heavy with fruit while multiflora rose hips are already filling woodland stomachs. This single red hip now leans alone over my path.
Even my garden is doing its part, offering up a bounty of mature native lily seeds just waiting to be snapped up by hungry fauna.
I am thankful for the Oaks, for the hickory, for the beech and their kin.