This year it gave us its most bountiful crop, even with the loss of one of its main branches to a wind storm this past summer. The remaining branches were so heavily laden with big walnuts that they drooped down into our soccer playing pitch thus necessitating the occasional pruning of downward intruding branches.
Fall and early winter mornings find a fun variety of birds enjoying the fruits of our back yard. First to go are the chokecherries in mid summer, then eventually it is the sun flowers seeds, plums, grapes, yew berries, tiny flowering pears, mountain ash berries and walnuts.
Top of the pecking order magpie. They love the walnuts and are their primary eaters. I apply the law of gleaners to my harvesting of walnuts. If I can't get the tough, hardened, blackened shell off I leave them in a pile under the walnut tree for birds to glean during the winter.
Magpie hard at work.
Post meal outer and inner shells.
As the walnuts started to fall from October through November we would gather them up and then with a screw driver and gloves (the blackened outer shells really stain) I would peal off the soft green or hardening black outer shell. I then left them to dry on our front porch.