Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hike at Lunch Revives

Walking in to the woods on a valley trail trail for lunch. I decided to cut across the woods because a dog was barking at me and I wanted to get away form him. He was chained up in the yard. I came to a spot and started watching the trees and became relaxed and everything seemed to be better.

I had been stressed out by my teen age kids last night. Their problems and my lack of handling the situation well. Then after I was relaxed I was watching branches and I realized how I need to wait on the Lord. I waited until the peace of God came to my soul, as trees wait for the warmth and rain from spring to start their growth for the new year. Trees wait until the right weather comes. They will wait a week, maybe a month, maybe a season, and if the conditions aren't right maybe a year.

Then as I was relaxed I notice that birds were chirping. One would call then another would call. They were Cardinals. One was close that I could see and the other was further away. I saw a Downy wood pecker working some tree limbs. Then I noticed that some Shagbark hickory buds were loose. I was not able to get a photo because the
limbs were up high and my camera would not focus on the small bud.

Then I decided to move looking for another Shagbark hickory tree to photograph. I did not see anymore of those type of trees. As I walked the forest changed from a hickory forest to a honey locust forest and I saw this unusual Osage orange tree which I took a photo of . It was neat how the branches were coming off the hill side. Then I hiked up through the woods to get out of the woods and I saw a big cottonwood tree that had become a wolf tree. I will use that tree as a marker to show me where to cut into the
woods to find the Osage orange tree again.

"Cease from anger, forsake wrath; fret not yourself, it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land." Psalm 37:8,9

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sight Distance

I stopped at a park for lunch. I wanted to test how far I could see through these cottonwoods in the winter compared to the summer. I parked at the gate at Riverfront park and walked down the road about ½ way. There was an Eastern Red cedar on the west. I used that as my starting point into the woods. I walked westerly and a little bit north. On that line there was a 3' tall and 1” dia. stub.

I picked out a tree that was distinctive and walked to it counting my paces. I walked about 270 to 280 feet.

The first photo is shooting back the way I hiked in.

There is a 1-2” dia. snag laying up against a cottonwood. Taking a photo of this (above) was not informative because of the quantity of trees. I will try to find the same tree in the summer. Here is the photo of the tree I selected to find again in the summer. I set the camera on 10 second delay and laid it at the foot of the tree.

14 paces is a westerly direction and a little bit south is the photo of a poison ivy vine growing up a cottonwood tree.

As I was looking for a good photo I noticed the breeze would cause the trees to rock back and forth. There is little rubbing between tree branches.

The lack of shrubbery is noticeable in these woods. This land was parkland and then abandoned. Later the land had been reopened. Cottonwood trees grew up in the parkland without competition in the grass.

I want to get a measurement technique to judge the # of trees per acre. The low cost one would be a 11.8' rope swung in a circle would measure 1/100th of an acre.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Melting Snow

Our backyard went through a melting yesterday and today. Snow has been covering the ground for a long time. We have some snow on the ground since Jan 12th. Today marks the 40th day. The 2 photos show the process of snow melt. Snow is fun but it is encouraging to see it melt away.

Salt is used to melt snow. But this only works down to about 15 degrees F. If it gets colder than that salt won't work. Calcium Chloride melts ice and snow down to -20 degrees F. This is because when the calcium chloride is dissolved into water it emits 3 ions. Salt sodium chloride emits 2 ions when it is dissolved. The amount of ions in the water lower its freezing point.

The sun will melt snow as the snow absorbs energy from the sun it melts. Dirty snow being darker will absorb more energy than clean snow. So dirty snow melts faster.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow with Sun

Without the sun there is much less contrast in the woods. Gray sky, no shadows, less color.

With the sun all is enlivened. At some angles there is too much light. I enjoy snow, even with the added work and extra cost. Everything seems fresh, new, clean and quiet.

Proverbs 25:13
Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest, Is a faithful messenger to those who send him, For he refreshes the soul of his masters.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Osage Orange as Hedge

Osage orange planted in a row. These trees were used as hedges and this could be a remanant of that.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Revisiting a Tree

Here is a picture of a tree with 5 vines climbing up it and there is a lot of other vines growing up the tree that have jumped across from some brush . I want to find this tree again in the spring or summer. So I am taking some readings from my compass of other trees that will point to this tree.

This is the tree in the center of the photo. To the left of the stem you can make out the vines grabbing the branch of the tree up in the air.

To locate this tree again I am making notes in my journal of how I got here. The more complete notes I can make, the better chance I have of finding the tree again.

There is an Am. sycamore to the east at a azimuth of 92 degrees. It is interesting, there is a Shingle oak on this 92 degree line. So if I line up those 2 trees, they will point the way to the tree with the vines.

There is another sycamore tree at a 52 degree azimuth that has a good den hole for wildlife that I took a picture of.

I enjoy planning to retrace my steps to find these trees again.

I have learned the hard way, that complete notes is not an option. Looking at notes in years past I could not make heads or tails out of what I wrote.

A lot of the problem is I don't have the patience or time to sit down and write the notes in the field. Now I am taking a recorder and making notes as I walk.

A further post on these trees is forthcoming.

It is the same with my walk with the Lord. I sometimes take notes during my devotions to remind myself of important things I have learned.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Photo for Profile

I was looking for a photo to publish and add to my profile. I think this is a good one. I was trying to get my dog to turn around but I gues she is a little camera shy. I think she likes hiking in the woods better than I do.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Snow to Ice

Lingering snow presents a problem for walking. The longer snow hangs around here, the more it turns to ice.

Snow starts out as crystals in the upper atmosphere and gathers more from water vapor. When the snow hits the ground it quickly loses its shape and becomes granular. In northern Missouri we live in the ice zone. Temps get above freezing during the day, at times. This melts the snow and refreezes it at night. This process turns the soft power of snow to ice.

I enjoy snow when its fresh, but this ice is no fun. When I went walking in the woods today I had to get off the trail because it was covered in ice. Off trial was easy walking. The snow had melted or was not uniform because of the leaves and brush.

Life throws many things my way that causes me to be tired or discouraged. But a fresh infilling from God by reading the Bible or prayer will lift my spirits.

Thank you Jesus for your love and acceptance. Thank you for woods to walk in to clear my mind form problems and your Spirit to bring peace to my soul.

Youtube video

Here is a link of Bald eagles on youtube.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I hiked in this park at lunch. Below is the entrance to the trail.

The trail drops down a little. I had trouble walking down in the snow, so I went into the woods and held saplings as I went down.

Here I am walking along the trail which is more or less level as shown below.

Below is evidence of squirrles.

Basswood clump. I normally find them this way. My thinking is they are sprouts from a stump.

Not far from the basswood is this knarly oak.

Frozen spring.

Next to the spring is a creek flowing downhill.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Log of my hike Sunday 4-Feb-07

Snow makes the ground look matted moulted. The trail is mainly marked by dogs also sign of deer and turkey. Watching the squirrels going from branch to branch leaping to the next branch.

The rustling of the shingle oak leaves in the wind. The crunch in of my boots on the snow the pitter patter of my dog scampering back and forth in the woods.

A wave of wind rustles the shingle oak leaves then it dies down then it rustles the leaves again and then it dies down.

A stand of rough leaf dogwood 1” in dia. With the mixture of E red cedar. White snow covering the ground white and blue sky.

Gray liken growing on the bowl of a 7” E red cedar.

Gnarled black cherry with the bole splits in two about 3' feet off the ground.
To my right the ground falls into a draw to the left continuing rough leaf dogwood and a scattering of E red cedar.

As I walk the sun is breaking through a layer of clouds the opening snow fades away into grass it has melted off.

The trail I was on now connects with the main trail and I am now on that trail heading W.

The main trail again is then covered in snow and I take the side trial off to the right which is on the other side of the draw which I mentioned before where the black cherry was.

I am now coming across some rabbit tracks. To the NW I look to the sky which is blue with a spattering of high clouds.

I cut off the side trail into the woods which rolls north. Ground is mostly covered in snow the snow covers the fallen trees. It is a round ridge as I walk to the draws. I don't see any sigh of human activity there are no human foot prints.

I lean up against a hop hornbeam which is next to a large fallen tree it is a hard to say what kind of tree it was all the bark has fallen off, white oak is to the East and a large bur oak is to the west near the creek.

In this area there is a ½ to 1 inch of soft snow and under it there is 1 to 2 inches of crusted snow.

We now have come up to a place has come where the squirrels have dug into the snow looking for nuts. I have no idea how the squirrels know where to dig but my dog has a lot of fun checking them out.

As I come to the end of the ridge down at the creek there is a root wad stuck into the air, dirt is still stuck in the root wad the tree has been down for a long time. The tree has fallen into the creek and branches are broken off on the other side of the creek. What bark is left is covered by conk type growth. The creek is frozen but I can see water running under the ice.

4:39 PM looking back south the sun is still up in the air a ways so there will be more sunlight for a time now. The sun is shinning through the 1000 s of branches most of the trees are 3” or less. Looking up at the canopy there is room for trees to occupy. Most of the trees are small a few large. The little trees have not taken off to occupy the open canopy.

Instead of going back the way I came I decided to parallel the creek gong along the edge and I will turn up to the top of the ridge when I get to the other side.

My dog runs out on the ice of the creek by a 2 foot waterfall she tries to stop but just slides in the ice. But being on all fours is no problem for her. When she does stop she runs back to me.

Heading back up there are a lot of small gullies criss crossing the ground. The way I negotiate these is by grabbing a sapling or vine hold on as I jump over them. But I check to make sure they aren't dead before I apply weight.

My dog is really getting excited now running up the side of the hill and back to me. She loves to hike in the woods with me.

There is no E red cedars growing on the side of the hill they grow up on top.

I come to the trail where there is a set of foot prints and I stamp my foot next to it and compare footprints the treads match so its mine. And now I am following my trial back.

As I hike along that trail I come to the realization that my foot prints have stopped so I back track to where my foot prints end and I cut into the woods.

Now I come to the root wad where I first wanted to take a photo and I figured I could find my foot prints again and continue following my way out.

I pass a white oak which is leaning about 30 degrees. The whole tree is leaning and the bowl of the tree is not carrying any of the weight of the tree. I will measure the dia with my hand and I come up with 30 to 32 inch dia tree.

I see 2 turkeys fly into some trees it is 5:00 now so it must be time to bed down in the tree.

Flowing the main trial the south facing slope is clear of snow and the north facing slope has a lot of turkey tracks in the snow where the turkey went into the trees.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

American Sycamore

I was hiking along a Missouri river bluff and came across this American Sycamore. The white upper branches caught my eye.

When I came closer I took a photo of the heart rot that many trees of this species have.

On the back of the tree there was a knot. This knot may have been formed by the tree to cover a wound. Or more likely it is from a disease. Seeing how the bowl of the tree seems to jog at this point the knot may be caused by a branch breaking off.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ice on Missouri River

Ice is stacked up against a jetty in the Missouri river.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Geese Flying over a Cold Missouri River

Missouri river is showing the effects of a cold snap. As I walked down to the river to take this photo some geese flew by. I was fortunate to get this shot.

Job 37:10

"From the breath of God ice is made,
And the expanse of the waters is frozen."