This entry should be dated December 19th, 2018, just didn't write anything up because of laziness.
Long time no see, blog! So I was walking along a trail, when I thought I heard an abnormal sound and turned around. Strangely, there appeared to be ice in my tracks?! Had I finally discovered the power to create frozen stuff at will? Sadly, 'twas not the case - instead, the waterlogged ground had frozen and formed what I called "ice spires," but now realize is needle ice. That's linked to the Wikipedia article, the pictures and explanation are pretty much spot on there so I don't think I need to cover much, aside from a "lazy" overview.
Basically, the freezing air temperature "draws up" water from the soil to the surface, where it freezes, slowly building into a "mini tower" of ice.
I'll leave the rest of the "story" to be told in the video and pictures.
Needle Ice Video
Needle Ice Picture
Portion of Soil "Exhumed"
Hey all! Been a while since I added an entry. Hopefully I should be able to get back to regular posting before autumn starts to really ramp up.
So I was looking outside my window and did a double take - yellow leaves?! This is on a birch tree (Betula lenta / Black Birch).
Quite surprising! I did cherry-pick the most yellow branch, but this is not an isolated occurrence. Numerous birch trees are starting to "turn". Some may bring up the point of stress causing this rapid change, but considering the amount of trees that have started to "turn," and the fact that my location is at 85% of its monthly precipitation with 10 days left, I think that can be ruled out. From a bit of memory I do think that this is usual for the tree, but not 100% sure on it.
Let's see if any more harbingers of winter can surface during the upcoming cold wave!
Here's an update on the dying oak tree. It's not a good one. The tree appears to be under severe stress and now the other trunk is in a sad state of affairs. While walking around I noticed a singular mushroom ~5 feet from the trunk.
The amount of sunlight coming down has allowed a couple of grasses to start growing. I suspect the ultimate demise should come shortly.
I changed the name of this blog to "The Forest" as it more completely categorizes my posts.
So first, let's start off with a little terminology. Squirrel nests are called Dreys. In case you don't want to read the whole Wikipedia article, I've summarized (albeit using copy and paste) it below.
So here is the drey I found being constructed, nestled in a birch tree (Betula lenta / Black Birch).
The focus is slightly off because I was busy warding off pesky mosquitoes. Sorry. .
More interestingly, I managed to capture shots of the squirrel (Scuirus carolinensis / Eastern Gray Squirrel) actually building the nest. It chewed through the twigs, captured a bundle of leaves, and hauled it up to the drey. It was very systematic, and seemingly efficient at its work.
If this is a "live" nest (not a reserve nest), it will be interesting to see these squirrels through the rest of the year, and maybe even winter. Anyways, that's all for now, hope you'll enjoy! .
The ornamental tree outside my window took quite a beating during the 2018 March 20-22 Nor'easter. It suffered terminal failure of the crown due to snow loading / weight.
However, all was not lost. Luckily this occurred before the sap started flowing (as these trees lose lots of sap when cut). New growth appeared in the spring.
Fast forward almost five months, and the shoots have grown to this:
That's it for this post. The next one will be lengthier. .
These are old photos, but this is the second oak I've noticed where one side dies with a bunch of small holes at breast height on the trunk. Quite peculiar. Anyone have any clue what this is? Respond in the comments.