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Thursday, December 1, 2022

A little Christmas Mountains history

Way back when I bought my property in the Christmas Mountains (600 acres of cheap rugged land), there was a ranch, also in the Christmas Mountains, called Christmas Mountains Ranch. Now that ranch has ended up in the university system and is used for research purposes. Here's a recent article that contains more information. The article doesn't say the size of the former Christmas Mountains Ranch, but it's over 9,000 acres.

While I enjoy seeing new "life" birds, I also enjoy helping other birders find new birds. I've been helping people find the Lewis's Woodpecker here in Alpine. Today I wasn't really planning to take more photos of it myself, but when I saw it with a huge acorn, I grabbed my camera. Only got a couple of blurry shots because by the time I got my camera settings right, it was gone.

The acorn looks like it's from a Chinquapin Oak. Tomorrow I may try to locate the source of the acorns. That would be a fun treasure hunt! I'm wondering if the woodpecker stashed the acorn in this crevice. First photo taken 1:11 PM, next photo taken 1:12 PM, and the last photo taken at 1:13 PM.

UPDATE: I did a little online research and read that in fall and winter Lewis's store acorns in crevices. It happened so fast that, looking through my camera lens trying to take photos, I couldn't really tell what was happening at the time. So I assume it'll hang around that area for quite a while yet. YAY!

"In fall and winter, their diet shifts to include more acorns and other nuts, which they store in the furrows and crevices of trees. Lewis's Woodpeckers are protective of their winter stores of acorns and nuts."

NEXT DAY: Read comments below. Caused me to decide the nut was a pecan. Since the town is loaded with pecan trees I abandoned my oak tree search.


  1. Looks like a pecan.

    1. I was out looking for oak trees when I got your message. Glad you did, saved me a lot of looking. Don't know why I didn't think pecan. I guess because ours our not that color. There are pecan trees all over town, so I'm through looking.