Let me finish off my pictures from my forest visit. I went to both the tree farms. Let me caveat that this is the least attractive time of the year to visit, but also the most revealing because all the summer vegetation is gone and the stalks are as far down as they will ever be. I saw some ice-storm-wind damage at the CP tract. I didn’t take any pictures. I think that most of the trees will recover. Few are broken; a few are bent or leaning. The water is all running very clean. The boys and I laid some rip-rap last year and that succeeded in stopping erosion on the first little stream.
More about forestry is at this link.
I like the stream management zones because they have big trees. They are mixed woods, with lots of big beech trees, as well as all sorts of oaks and tulip trees. There is lots of holly in the understory. Above is a picture of the SMZ where the road crosses taken with my new panoramic camera feature. Below is another beech showing the scares of a fire many years ago. Beech have thin bark, so it must not have been too hot a fir. The SMZs are moist, so maybe the fire couldn’t take hold.This tree is at the edge of the SMZ, so what I have not figured out is why the fire scar is facing TOWARD the moister ground and water of the SMZ.
Below shows the roots of another beech reaching down the hill at the SMZ. It doesn’t have any significance. I just thought it was an interesting picture. That tree is only a few yards from the fire scare tree, but it I couldn’t find any evidence that one burned. Maybe it all healed over. Eventually, the evidence gets covered. The rough bark probably hides some of that. As a city boy, I notice something else strange about my beech trees. They don’t have initials carved into them. Beech bark is very soft and in any urban park they are covered with marks from generations of kids.
Below are rocks on the Freeman tract. We are not far from the Vulcan Quarry and I have a lot of boulders on this property. The rocks are attractive. They demonstrate again the truth that value depends on location. I see boulders over at the garden center that cost hundreds of dollars. My problem is that I cannot move these things with any reasonable amount of effort.
The bottom picture is one of the loading decks used for the recent harvest. They did a good job of protecting the soil. It is hard to see, but it is not packed down. This spring, the vegetation will grow profusely, creating great forest edge and bobwhite quail habitat. I will take another picture in June. It will be very different.