Exploring our Land (end Nov 2017)

We explored our land with the help of a guide from Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project (http://macphailwoods.org/)  They helped us identify trees and shrubs (we counted 15 types of trees, 15 shrubs, 5 ferns and 10 types of flowers/berries). It’s pretty impressive how you can identify plants without their leaves, and just using buds and catkins. Our goal is to make some trails on the property, so we got tips on how to decide where to lay them. I’ve also taken a couple courses with MacPhail Woods on patch clearing and chainsaw use and safety. So, in a few select areas along the trail, we’ll choose trees we want to keep, remove ones there are lots of, and add missing species. These species will then spread their seed and they will pop up in other parts of the forest! Hurray for wind and critters (blue jays, squirrels, etc)!

We learned that we have many species already and that we are only missing the late succession trees (Sugar Maple, Red Oak, Yellow Birch, Black and White Ash and Hemlock) plus some shrubs. I even have a chainsaw on order (a battery powered one. It’s lighter and quieter than the gas-powered ones). We are very excited to get started!

A giant White Pine we’ve named “Magestic Pine”.  It’s a good 2 feet in diameter at chest height, thicker at the base.  One of the older trees on the property.

One area has beautiful lichens on the ground, so thick it looks like snow!
Lovely moss
Soft to the touch
Cool old tree core
The main disturbance of the Acadian Rainforest is when an old tree falls over at the end of its long life (could be hundreds of years old), leaving a large clearing and patch of light. Many young trees who were waiting patiently and growing very slowly, shoot up quickly, competing for the space. Quite a different cycle from the Boreal forest where the main disturbance is a forest fire. Lodgepole pine even rely on heat from the fire to open their cones! Quite an adaptation.
Our little pond. Frogs are prolific here in the spring (as are probably mosquitoes…) It would be an ideal skating pond! It’s about 30-40 feet across.

Very large ant hill about 3 feet across!

Baby Balsam Fir sapling.  I think the light green is new leaves? but then, it’s Fall, and no other balsam fir had new leaves…hmm.  Now I wonder if it was another sapling (perhaps spruce) underneath.