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The Scar Solution Natural Scar Removal

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Page 107

contain larvae of the hickorynut curculio (Conotrachelus affinis), reddish-brown and gray beetles with beaks. A tree often jettisons injured nuts, as if to reduce further energy investment in them.

Masses of white wool on leaf undersides are the filaments of green larvae resembling caterpillars, the butternut woollyworm (Blennocampa caryae), a sawfly. The larvae eat inward from the sides of leaves.

Flower catkins are relished by rose-breasted grosbeaks, among other songbirds.

Fall. The largest, most conspicuous caterpillar on hickory is the hickory horned devil (Citheronia regalis), a five-inch-long green and spined creature of intimidating appearance. This larva of the regal or royal walnut moth is America's largest native caterpillar, appearing in late summer or early fall.

Periodical cicada egg scars are commonly seen on twigs in the fall (see Red Oak).

Nuts are devoured by wood ducks, wild turkeys, Eastern chipmunks, and fox, gray, red, and flying squirrels. Red squirrels gnaw open the nuts from the end; flying squirrels usually open them only on one side. By burying nuts, squirrels are the principal agents of this tree's dispersal. In certain areas, squirrel activity beneath hickories may encourage pine germination (see Eastern White Pine).

Lore: For both utility and food, few American trees rival the genus Carya. Hickory wood is exceptionally hard, strong, and elastic. It finds a wide market in sporting equipment, tool handles, ladders, gunstocks, and furniture. The best lumber comes from shagbark hickory, which also produces most of the hickory nuts sold (excluding the commercially grown pecan). Shellbark nuts are larger and sweeter; those of bitternut and sometimes pignut (C. glabra) are inedible. A hybrid cross between pecan and hickory produces ''hicans," which look like large hickory nuts.

Can you detect its head end? It's where the longest horns protrude. Of fearsome aspect and dimension, the hickory horned devil is our largest native caterpillar.

For smoking meats, bitternut wood is said to produce the best hickory-smoked flavor. Hickory wood is also unexcelled as firewood, burning cleanly and producing the most heat

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value per cord of any eastern hardwood. A cord gives the btu equivalent of 1.12 tons of coal, 175 gallons of fuel oil, or 24,000 cubic feet of natural gas. Hickory also produces a high-grade charcoal.

Almost exclusively native to North America, hickories covered Europe and Mediterranean lands in preglacial periods (the shellbark has been reintroduced there). Hickory's very name is thoroughly American, deriving from the Algonquin word pohickery. Native peoples ground and cooked the nuts with cornmeal, then baked the mixture into small cakes. Crushed green shells were thrown into pools to stun fish for food. The Chippewas burned small shoots and inhaled the fumes for headache and used hickory wood for their bows.

In early spring hickories can be tapped like sugar maple, producing relatively small quantities of sap for a tasty syrup.

Honeysuckles (Lonicera spp.)

Honeysuckle family. Shrubs and climbing and trailing vines in woods, thickets, swamps. Both shrub and vine honeysuckles have opposite, untoothed leaves, papery bark, and transverse lines connecting the opposing leaf scars. Depending on the species, the tubular, flaring flowers are white, yellow, orange, pink, purple, or red; berries are orange, red, blue, or black. Forest and edge shrub species include the Tartarian (L. tatarica), fly or four-lined (L. involucrata), American fly or Canada (L. canadensis), and Northern fly (L. villosa); vines include the Japanese (L. japonica), the wild or mountain (L. dioica), the wild or rock (L. prolifera), and the trumpet (L. sempervirens). The alien Tartarian and Japanese honeysuckles have escaped cultivation to become the most common and widespread species.

Other name: Woodbine (actually vine honeysuckle L. periclymenum; also a name applied to the unrelated Virginia creeper).

Close relatives: Bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera); elders (Sambucus); viburnums (Viburnum); coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) ; feverworts (Triosteum); twinflower (Linneae borealis).

Lifestyle: During the mild days of earliest spring, the first shrubs you are likely to see leafing out are honeysuckles. The green mist of their unfolding leaves in the still-bare woods and thickets is one of spring's first bold announcements. Honeysuckles also flower and fruit early, displaying colorful berries when most wild fruits are still green and immature.

Early timing is not characteristic of all honeysuckles, however; members of the genus show wide variation.

Twenty or so species of Lonicera inhabit eastern North America. The most distinctive mark of the entire group, perhaps, is the arrangement of leaves, flowers, and fruits. The

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