It's a simple question. What's up with all these acorns? These December days you just can't miss them, because they are everywhere.
Some 70 million trees, in Houston alone, unloading 10 years worth of reproductive power in a single season.
Evan Siemann is a Rice University ecologist who calls the onslaught "an organic pulse" the trigger for which remains a mystery.
"There's two possibilities, one is that they are actually communicating with each other, people think that may be what's going on. The other is there's some sort of cue that they all know this is the year," said Seimann.
Consensus on the "cue" seems to be heat related stress from last summer's draught.
"I'm going to make more of my own because I'm on the way out, that kind of thing," explained Victor Cordova, City of Houston forester.
Siemann says that's as good a guess as any and calls this saturation bombing a kind of biological blitzkrieg.
"What happens is that they make so many acorns that all the critters that eat acorns can't eat them all, so they basically overwhelm all of the predators that would be feeding on the acorns," said Seimann.
And oh what a feast it's been! "All you can eat" and then some for months to come.
"They are going to be chubby and happy," said Cordova.
"Great for squirrels. Great for deer," added Seimann.
That said, odds of a back-to-back barrage look pretty slim.
"Highly unlikely, highly unlikely," said Cordova.
In others words, critters better "eat 'em, while they got 'em."