Thursday, January 31, 2008

Animal Trail

Hiking along a trail I frequent often I came across this den hole and mud slide. The photo below shows the trail leading up the other side of the hill. I looked closely for tracks, none were available. That leads me to believe that the animal drags part of his body behind his feet. A beaver tail perhaps. But the hole seems to small for beaver. Hiking in this area, I have never seen any trees cut by beaver so that leads me to rule out beaver.

Badger would be the next logical choice. They range from 13 to 30 pounds so they also seem a little big for the above hole.

Other possibilities would be mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, spotted or striped skunks, river otter and weasels.

Psalm 91:3 "For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hidden Valley in the Snow

Ezekiel 34:25
"I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Geese in 30 to 40 MPH Winds

I was sitting in a parking lot and I heard geese honking in the sky. The geese were flying in 30 to 40 mph winds. They did not go in a straight line to get to where they wanted to go, but they got there. Notice all the geese have their wings down. They are coming in for a landing. Most birds seem to wait out storms like this. Canada geese seem to take it in stride.

Isaiah 31:5

Like flying birds so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem
He will protect and deliver it;
He will pass over and rescue it.

Ash Tree Choaked by a Vine

Here is an Ash tree sapling that is being choked by a vine. I usually stay on the alert for ash trees as I hike through the woods.

Bark is the first thing that I notice when looking for Ash. This tree did not have any buds low enough to inspect. So I photographed them to see if they resembled ash. Opposite and stubby buds are true of the genus.

Here is a close up of how the vine is choking the tree.

Matthew 13:7 "Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out."

Matthew 13:22
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Monday, January 28, 2008

White Oak Measured 176 Points

Here is a tree in the center of the photo that dominates this part of the woods. As I make my way over to it I am not sure what kind of tree it is other than an oak.

I decide to measure the tree.

I come up with a height of 63 feet.
A canopy of 59' one way and the other way of 66'
And a circumference of 8 feet 5 inches or 97"
Total points of 176

My height measurements are always questionable. I would like to get a clinometer but they are a little pricey.

Looking at the trees bowl I zoomed in on a hole in one place where a branch used to be.

The tree had a couple of dead branches that show an interesting pattern of how bark stops near the bole of the tree. Click on the photo for a larger view of the tree.

This view of the tree is shot from the base of the tree up.

The tree is not far from the trees I talked about yesterday.

Many oaks are hard to identify in the winter but there were plenty of leaves like this White oak leaf at the base of the tree. So until further evidence is found I will call this tree a White oak. One problem I have with calling it a White oak is because the bark is not characteristic of White oaks. White oaks usually have light gray bark and the bark is flaky. This tree does not have this bark.

These 2 trees were just east of the tree I measured and will be a sign for what to look for when I return to find this tree again. Looking at the first photo you can see them further up the hill from the oak I measured.

Both of these trees are Red oaks (shumard oak is another possibility). This is a close up of the one on the left. I would classify this tree as a den tree because of the hole in the bole.

Psalm 55:22 "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dominate Trees Need Room

Notice how the tree on the left grows straight for about 15 feet. Then it starts bending to the left to get some light away from the tree on the right. A forest can only support so many dominate trees. If there are more trees than optimal then the trees will be stunted in growth.

Psalm 36:9 "For with You is the fountain of life;
In your light we see light."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Missouri River ice

Today Saturday there is a thaw, so I wanted to get the Missouri river ice photo's I took Wednesday and Friday on this blog.

Here is a video showing the river full of ice. It is interesting to see where the main current is and where the slow water is.

Driftwood along the south shore of the Missouri river.

These ice patties are mainly slush. I suppose if it stayed cold for a long time they would become solid.

Psalm 46:4 "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Need Tree ID 221 points

Here is a tree I measured Christmas morning. My kids were still asleep and my dog and I went for a hike. It wasn't cold about 35 degrees. I came across this dominate tree. Measuring it I came up with these figures. It will be an easy tree to find because it dominates the forest. It has wolf tree characteristics. A wolf tree is a large tree with wide branching pattern. They usually are found in the open where there is no competition.

Height 82'
Circumference 121"
Canopy 73 1/2
Total Points 221

I will have to come back in the summer to ID the tree. My guess is that it is a Bur oak.

Jeremiah 5:6
"Therefore a lion from the forest will slay them, A wolf of the deserts will destroy them, A leopard is watching their cities. Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces, Because their transgressions are many, Their apostasies are numerous."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Heart Rot

Here is a tree with serious heart rot that still has a living branch growing off to one side.

Many times it can be identified by a conk or mushroom fruiting body.

My guess of what happened to this tree is: a storm tore a branch off the tree on the side nearest the camera. This wound opened the tree to disease which ate up the heart of the tree.

Joshua 2:11
"When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ash Tree bark

In my pursuit of ash trees I came across this one deep in the woods on a hike in the snow. Ash trees are known for their tight diamond bark. Looking at the branches with my binoculars I verified that they were occurring in an opposite pattern instead of alternate.

I took notes on how to get back here in the spring. None of the ash trees I have found so far are big trees in comparison to the mighty oaks that dominate these woods.

Isaiah 55:1
"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Remains of a branch as seen from inside a snag.

This is an interesting photo, because it shows a branch growth from inside a snag. The heart rot of the tree allowed me to shoot this photo from inside out.

Heb 11:1,2 "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

For by it the men of old gained approval."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Young Cottonwood Woods Video

1 Thessalonians 1:2 "We give thanks to God always for all of you,
making mention of you in our prayers."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Missouri Natural Areas

photo taken 12/14/07 after ice storm.

Missouri Natural Area sign. These areas are designations of ecological important areas of Missouri. This system tries to manage and restore examples of nature throughout Missouri.

There are 168 areas consisting of more than 44,000 acres.

Ecclesiastes 7:12
"For wisdom is protection just as money is protection,
But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Habitat Hole

This hole was probably hollowed out by woodpeckers. Later other birds and animals use it.

Proverbs 22:22,23
"Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;
For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Growth over Boulders

Here is a tree that started on a boulder and was able to maintain growth. It must of found enough soil to maintain growth. It is now a healthy tree and the roots have grown in different directions to give it stability.

Here is a shot showing the dominance of boulders and the lack of soil. Yet the tree continues to thrive.

Isaiah 41:17
"The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wildflower Ground Cover

A few years ago I was hiking in the Spring and saw this ground cover.

Psalm 37:16, 17 "Better is the little of the righteous
Then the abundance of many wicked.
For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the Lord sustains the righteous."

Monday, January 14, 2008

Swirled Tree

Swirled tree catches my eye on one of my lunch hikes.
There was a leaf left on a twig so I was able to ID it as a Chinquapin oak.

So far I have made it back to this tree 3 times.

Unfortunately this tree is not in good condition. These holes seem to be made by woodpeckers.

Matthew 12:33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good,
or make the tree bad and its fruit bad;
for the tree is known by its fruit."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Looking for Ash Trees

Decided to hike off trail to look for ash trees. Ash trees aren't dominate in these woods and sometimes they are hard to find. The above tree I came across first. The diamond pattern bark and opposite twigs above makes this tree a good bet as an ash tree.

Later in my hike I came across a 2 stemmed ash tree not pictured, that was along a fence row. It will be easy to find because its on the fence row. The third tree, pictured below, is more questionable. The bark pattern is not as clear as the above photo. It may be an ash, but I am waiting for the spring to see for sure.

Yesterday I probably hiked for over a 1/2 mile loop in the woods looking for ash trees and did not find any. I plan to continue to search for ash trees this week as I go into the woods to verify the identity and measure other trees.

Isaiah 55:6 "Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Osage Orange

One of the things that are intriguing to me is the branch pattern of the Osage Orange.

Proverbs 3:25,26 "Do not be afraid of sudden fear,
Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
For the Lord will be your confidence,
And will keep your foot from being caught."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Shingle Oak / Quercus imbricaria 89 Points

Here is a Shingle oak in the center of the photo. It seems to be healthy but some vines are taking hold of it.
Tree Measurements
Ht. 49
circumference 32
canopy 34
Total points 89

This is health tight bark, which I interpret as healthy. Why is tight bark healthy? The tree is growing faster then the bark can keep up with so the bark can't accumulate any thickness.

Psalm 101:1 "I will sing of lovingkindness and justice,
To You, O Lord, I will sing praises."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Honey Locust Thorns

I always am impressed by the thorns on Honey locust. Walking off trail, I came upon this tree at a top of a small rise. So I shot this photo at the base of the tree looking up.

Wikipedia states the thorns were used as nails in the past.

Matthew 27:29
"And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, " Hail, King of the Jews!"

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

White Oak Knobs

Here is a interesting White oak where knobs formed over former branches.

Psalm 119:10 "With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments."

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Deer Stand

I came across this deer stand between 2 Cottonwood trees. There was an abundance of deer tracts in the snow. So I am glad there are deer hunters here to keep the herd in check. These woods are hard to see far in the summer and the deer season is in November so most of the leaves would have fallen. The archery season lasts into mid January of this year.

Without hunting there would be an avalanche of abundance of deer. With too many deer there would be damage to the forests because of over browsing.

Psalm 84:5 "How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion."

Monday, January 07, 2008

Canada Geese

I caught these geese on a pond a few weeks ago.

I walked out of a seminar for a break and heard geese flying overhead. It was interesting because the wind was blowing hard from the west and the geese were flying southwest. They were not facing in the direction they were flying but were flying at an angle so they would head in a southwesterly direction. They were facing further south than they were flying. But had to fly at that angle to go where they wanted.

John 3:8
" The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Mourning Doves

These Morning doves were below my bird feeder the other day. They usually feed on the ground. Wikipedia says they almost exclusively eat seeds.

Psalm 107:1 "O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

43" Cottonwood

This is one of the biggest Cottonwood trees I have found in these woods. I would guess that a lot of the trees in these woods came from the seeds of this tree.

Psalm 65:2 "O You who hear prayer,
To You all men come."

Friday, January 04, 2008

Deer Trail Video

Walking through the snow today I came upon a heavily traveled deer trail. This video shows a little of that.

James 4:10 "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you."

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Here is a snag I think. It is the tree in the center that has rotted out branch stubs. Snags are dead trees, but this may be a den tree, (a habitat tree) that is not dead.

Here you can see the holes probably made by a woodpecker. This type of thing you don't usually see in a live tree.

The snag was used as a fence post. Barbed wire was grown over years ago.

Snags provide needed den space for wildlife to use.

As usual I want to return to gather more information hoping to see wildlife. The redheaded woodpecker photo was not taken far from here.

Psalm 32:7 "You are my hiding place;
You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance."

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Snowy Hillside

I took this photo because it shows snow on the north side of the tree bole. To the left of that tree is a dark straight tree I want to double check. I measured it a year ago and I think it is either a Northern red oak or Shumard oak.

Psalm 65:12
"The pastures of the wilderness drip,
And the hills gird themselves with rejoicing."

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Zinnas and Merigolds Time Lapse

Here are some flowers from our garden. I tried to get a progression of time for each photo. Zinnias are one of my favorite flowers. Not because they are the pettiest but because they last a long time and are easy to grow.

The marigolds were planted here because my wife handed me a baggie of seeds and I planted them not knowing which were which. Marigolds are great in a garden because they hinder pests from bothering other plants.

Photo taken June 16th

Photo taken July 2nd

Photo taken July 21st

Photo taken July 30th

Photo taken September 10th

Photo take Jan 1, 2008

Genesis 1:1
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."