Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Naked Woods

Yesterday, the temperature reached a record 71 degrees at 3:00 p.m while it was 65 degrees earlier this afternoon. The warm temperatures prompted me to walk in the woods the last couple of days.

I can see and hear more woodpeckers after the leaves have fallen like this downy woodpecker.

Identifying trees by the bark is a skill I have been acquiring over several years. The trees have to be mature because the bark of young trees of most species vary greatly in pattern and sometimes color.

The easiest one for me is Black Cherry because it is dark grey and has a distinctive pattern.

Sourwood is also easy to identify because the deeply-furrowed bark is light grey. The bark is very hard as well just like the wood which was used by the pioneers for sleds to bring supplies up into the mountains.

This morning, an Evening Grosbeak came to our feeder. I first noticed him during the cold spell last week but I did not expect him to stay. I don't remember ever seeing one before here even though we have had Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks during migration.

Another unusual bird at the feeder is the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. So far, I haven't been able to catch a photo of him. So that makes 4 woodpeckers (Red-Bellied, Downy, Hairy, and Yellow Bellied Sapsucker) coming to the suet feeder.


  1. Congrats on the Evening Grosbeak and temps have gotten very warm recently! Isn't it crazy! I always remember Black Cherry by thinking burnt potatochips!

  2. Burnt potato chips--smart way to remember the bark of Black Cherry tree. Thanks for the tip.

  3. I am just learning to identify trees myself.

  4. Stacie-- Here's a resource I find helpful along with field guides:

  5. I love the detail of the tree bark, so beautiful!
    I've tagged you with the 7 random fact game, play if you wish if not no big deal!

  6. Chris--look for my 7 random fact game in the next couple days. Thanks for tagging me.

  7. Glad you found my nature blog. It seems I was only able to leave my homeschool blog address. You're welcome to read both, but I'm sure you're probably more interested in the nature one. www.everyday-reflections.com

  8. We get Hairy, Downey, and Red-bellied WP at our suet feeder--and I see a yellow-bellied sapsucker in an adjacent area, Pileated, too.
    One day...hoping to get those 2 to visit the suet!