TAMPA (FOX 13) - It's not just your imagination. We're being bombarded by acorns this year.
The oak tree's nut is great food for animals, and sometimes humans, but why is the ground being taken over by acorns this year?
David Whitwam of Whitwam Organics tells FOX 13 News that different species of oak trees put out different sizes and shapes of acorns, but this year they have one thing in common - they're dropping lots of those little, brown nuts on our houses, cars and driveways.
The process is called masting and it happens every 3-5 years. Experts don't know what causes it, and it the masting years are typically offset between species. This year, it's happening all at once.
That's why we're seeing exponentially more acorns than normal - 20-percent more, according to Whitwam.
With every single acorn holding the potential of becoming an oak tree, that's a lot for the ground to absorb.
Whitwam said acorns are edible, albeit bitter. And there's a process to removing the tannic acid, which could irritate a human's stomach if eaten raw. There are recipes for acorn bread and acorn muffins.