Sunday, January 13, 2008

Naked Woods 2

Yesterday was the last warm day (50s) so I took another walk in the woods to identify trees. My dog, Kookie, and cat, Sophie, usually accompany me on these walks. I could see more birds and other wildlife without them but they are good company.

Sophie doesn't miss a chance to walk on a pile of rocks. These rock piles are scattered throughout the woods. I marvel at the amount of work it took the farmer to make them. From talking to neighbors, I know this part of our land was a potato field in the 1920s and 30s. I have probably hauled a ton of rocks back to our house for use in gardening but this pile is so far from a road that I can't get to it easily.

The shagbark hickory is probably the easiest to identify by its bark. Little brown bats are supposed to use the hickory to roost by day. But, the the baats around here may prefer to use our wood siding or a large bat house we installed years ago.

We have quite a few small American Beech trees which are noticeable because they retain their leaves all winter. We have only a couple of large ones which only retain their leaves on their lower branches.

The bark is very smooth, light gray and tempted a Henry Turner to write his initials on this tree in 1953. I wonder if he was the son of the farmer that piled up all those rocks.

This tree, over four feet in diameter, grows just a few feet from our fence line, making me covet my neighbor's land. Oh well, I will admire the beautiful colors of the gray and light brown leaves from afar.


  1. 4 feet in diameter! That's awesome! I love to hike in my woods with my dog as well. You're right, without them there'd be more wildlife sightings, but oh well.

    We have several shagbark hickories on our land. I didn't know about the bats. Yikes! I haven't seen one yet.

    I do love trees. They are some of my best companions! ;-)

    My nature blog is at

  2. It does always seem like the beech get carved into! Love your hickory photo!

  3. Stacie- Once during a city visit, I actually hugged a tree after a few days of being cooped up inside so I guess I fit the stereotype "treehugger." Nice blog--Joan

  4. Monarch--I guess the beech must be easy to carve just like the aspens out west. Too bad. Joan