The Beech trees have begun dropping their nuts in the nearby woods, creating a glut of food in the local bush economy. A favorite of black bears, who have been known to climb the trees for better access, the nuts are good to eat and have also been pressed to extract an oil that was used in cooking. Because bears love to eat the nuts and the trees have smooth bark, stands of Beech trees are a great place to look for bear sign. Check the bark for claw marks where bears climbed up to eat. In addition to being a favorite food of bears, I believe it’s the only nut that became the namesake of a chewing-gum company.