Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tree Carnage

Well, another month has flown by. I can't say I walked the trails much. Partly because it has just been too darned hot, and partly because I was on vacation! This week is really nice though, yes? I did take a stroll this past weekend and aside from gnats flying near my eyeballs, all was well. Does that happen to anyone else? The thing I noticed the most on my walk was how worn out the woods looked. This happens every late summer. Most all of the leaves from last fall have been recycled into the earth, the tree leaves are that dark, glossy green of August, and much of the plant growth on the forest floor has died back giving the woods a very open look. All too soon, we'll be able to see the cliff face again from the trail.
On my walk I encountered a few colorful things. I even thought to take pictures! Here they are:







Now you may be wondering why the title of this post is "Tree Carnage." Well, yet another big oak has come down. This one made a pretty big mess as it was a "double" tree, and one side fell to the right and the other to the left.


It's a little hard to see, but the brown in the middle of the picture is the ground under the split. I'm standing on the trunk of one of the fallen trees and the other is away to the top and left of the photo. These guys were in the red oak group. I won't say for sure the species. Here you can see the pointed lobes on the leaf indicating that it is in the red oak group, and some immature acorns.



The one side of the tree came down onto the shelter trail and took with it a maple and tulip tree. In this picture the trail is on the left hand side.


Here is the same tree that went down but shown looking from the base of the tree towards the top.


The other side of the oak that came down involved beeches, sourwood, tulip, birch, and a cherry. The cherry held out for a little while, then split in half!




This oak came down on the Casa Burro, and as you can see here, Tom had his work cut out for him to open the trail back up. (no pun intended!)



This fall made quite the opening in the forest canopy as you can see. It will be fun to watch what plants take advantage of the new found sunlight!