This nutshell is empty and carved with large holes. Their shape and placement tell us who made them.
In the autumn black walnuts ripen and fall from the trees. They’re covered in yellow-green husks that exude a black stain when you open them.
Squirrels don’t care about the stain. They chew off the husk and gnaw the wooden shell.
They make four holes, two on each side of the shell. The side that opens quickly is gnawed into one large hole. By their shape you can tell that a squirrel ate the nutmeat.
This fox squirrel gnawed a black walnut in Donna Foyle’s backyard in 2014. Find out how long it took him in How To Open A Black Walnut.
(photos by Kate St. John and Donna Foyle, per the captions)