On my walk today I found some hickory. I like the feel of the smooth oval nut and I am captivated by the hull that surrounds and protects it.
The hickory tree is in the genus ‘Carya’ for the archaic nut-tree goddess, Carvatis. There are 12 species native to North America. The nuts are edible, although not all are palatable to humans.
Hickory is a food plant for the larvae of some Lepidoptera (moth and butterfly ) species including the Luna moth.
This summer while kayaking on Lake Erie I saw a spot of green on a large rock. To my amazement it was a Luna. I had not seen one since I was a child in Ohio. It was a wonderful moment. The Luna moth has a very short lifespan (a week).
Here is a link to wikipedia if you would like to learn more about the Luna moth (Actias luna).
Gathering hickory nuts reminds me of Indiana. Here is a picture of me with my brother, mom, aunt and grandmother collecting nuts for cookies. You can read more about my midwest adventures in Moth at the Window.