Monday, March 29, 2010

Camouflaged Red Tailed Hawk

I was out of gas in my work truck and came to the gas pumps. One pump was slow and that was the only one open. I took this as on opportunity to search the sky for the Red tailed hawk that frequented the area.

I saw what looked like a clump of leaves with my binoculars. I took my camera and zoomed all the way to get the shot. After taking the photo I looked at the screen zooming in again as far as I could and I realized I got a photo of the hawk!

It was worth waiting for the diesel.

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Days Moon Travel

Here are two shots of the same area at the same time 2 days in a row from close to the same place. the photos were taken in early March when I was riding my bicycle to work.

Monday, March 22, 2010

May be Scarlet Oak

In my tree searching I have run across an oak that may fit into the Scarlet or Pin oak. Scarlet has hairy end buds while Pin oak does not. I don't know if I can find a bud low enough to inspect to tell the difference between the two trees. I have never found a Pin oak in the wild.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kentuckey Coffee Tree

Here is a Kentucky Coffee tree I ran into a while back. From a distance I didn't notice the bark of the tree.

                            These are the distinctive seed pods.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hummingbird Video


I found some Persimmon that had been cut by a brush hog, now growing back from stump sprouts. This is the first time I have IDed this tree as a sapling. The large lenticles on the stems stand out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lean to the Light

Here in a stand of Cottonwood is one stem that is leaning. Why? It is looking for light. We need to look for the light of Jesus. I see this often int the woods. But without the light of Jesus we are finished.

I can do nothing without you Jesus. You are the strength of my life. It is in You that I grow. You are the source of my strength.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I saw this fox this week driving back to my office. I thought it would be gone by the time I dug my camera out of my pack. But the fox was not in a hurry.

A couple of days later I stopped at this area and came across some feathers. So I see why the fox was here. It probably was looking to see if anything was left to eat. My guess is this was a kill by the fox earlier.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Common Persimmon Diospyros Virginiana

There are other persimmon around this area. This seems to be the largest one. They can grow past 20 inches diameter though this one is just bigger than 12 inches. I live near the northern edge of its range so height and diameter growth will not approach the record.

No other tree is like a Persimmon, so I always enjoy seeing them. The blocky bark is very distinctive. The fruit is good if you catch it at the right time in the Fall. If not it will be bitter.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Hornberam Ostrya virginiana

During this hike I noticed that the understory is dominated by Hornbeam and Gray Dogwood. These 2 photos are of Hornbeam. The tree does not grow large and the bark is shredy.

The wood of this tree is hard, seeds grow in a bladder that rattles. Children probably used them as toys. The leaves resemble elm leaves.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Site Index

I went back today and measured 4 trees. The U tree that is a Shingle oak.
Circumference 55 3/8
Height 63 feet
Canopy 34 and 56'
Total points 129

The Persimmon is larger than others I have measured for the diameter. Its height is not that tall. This gives me an indication that the site index of this area is not good.

An Ash tree is the reason I am here at this location. I want to watch how this tree grows next to a dominate tree. This area not haveing a good site index will not show good growth characteristics for the Ash. But I still will come back from time to time to see what is happening.

This photo is of the U tree which is a Shingle oak.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Curved Shingle Oak Revisited

I revisited the curving Shingle oak. And noticed the preponderance of galls growing in the branches. This is common in Shingle oak around here. This tree does not branch out much but grows upward because of being hemmed in.

I did not find any advanced regeneration of Oak in this area. Advanced regeneration is saplings growing up under the mature trees. They will be able to advance and take dominance when the mature trees die off.

One way Oak regenerates is from sprouting from stumps. Buds that are dominate near the base of a tree may sprout. The younger a tree is the more likely that the tree will sprout. Trees from sprouts have an advantage because of the mature root system to draw on to grow. If this Oak dies or is damaged the likelyhood of sprouts from this stump are low because of the mature age of the tree.

Below is the photo of the curved tree 21/Dec/2007

Tomorrow I will tell you of the next tree I stopped at. There are 5 trees I will describe and at the end I will show a video as I walked through the woods to see these trees.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

morning Moon

Here is the moon I saw on my bicycle ride to work this morning.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Bottomland Video

Bur Oak Grows Slow

Here is a tree (center of photo) I measured back in 2002. The difference in the circumference was less than 2 inches. This is seven growing seasons growth. I saw only an inch and 3/4 of growth increase. The tree is growing slowly at this point and for the next 50 years the rate of growth will slow even more.

I had the tree growing 4' in this 7 years but the way I used to measure trees was not accurate enough.

Bur Oak
Tree height 64'
Circumference 97.75
Canopy 65' and 60'
Total points = 177.4

Monday, March 01, 2010

Extra Long Limb Tree

The big tree in the background is the object of this photo. The flush of brush/saplings would hide this tree in the summer. One thing that brought this tree to my attention is the extra long branch that extends to the right. I try to visualize why a tree grows the way it does. Up to now I don't have an explanation for the extra long limb growth.

It could have a broken top and this branch attempted to gain dominance. I don't remember that when I measured the tree. I do notice that the dominate part of the tree leans to the left in this photo and may have been another branch to the right that has broken off.

Now I have a reason to return to the tree to see if there is a scar of the missing branch to the right. This tree is not far from my bench I rested at Saturday. So I will be revisiting this tree at some point.

Chinquapin oak
Height 50 feet
circumference 92 & 3/4 inches
Canopy 52 and 64 feet.
Total points = 157.6 points

I am not so much concerned to find the biggest tree where I live but to monitor and watch the growth of trees over the years.