Saturday, November 17, 2018

Northern Red Oak Tree and beaver damage (photos from Oct 29 and Nov 17)

Aughhhh... The beaver has moved his felling operation to our boat dock area. He has chewed into a gorgeously healthy oak on the shoreline right next to where we chain up my beloved pond prowler!
Here is a closer look at the beaver damage where the beaver cut through about half the tree. 
I like this photo that shows the ring of wood shavings around the tree from the beaver's work! It looks rather festive and symmetrical;-)
And, I found that the rings are showing up nicely through all the parts of the wood. I am assuming that the dark center that is still quite moist, is the heartwood of the tree with the lighter wood being the living sapwood. 
Jump ahead 19 days...The tree is gradually drying and the rings are getting lighter in color, but the heartwood is still darker than the sapwood.
Here is the other side of the cut. I find it interesting that the bottom wood is turning yellow where it was white a few weeks ago.
I decided to photograph the beaver cut a bit more closely as the rings were apparent as well as xylem tubes in the heartwood! (I was also trying out the macro mode on my P1000 camera.) I love the colors in this photo...
Could these be the phloem tubes (see arrow) in the cambium? It is just in from the edge of the bark that you can see in the lower right.
I went home and got a different camera body so I could use my 100mm lens with a Kenko 12mm extension tube for a closer look at the tree rings with xylem tubes. These tubes transport water up the tree, from the roots to the leaves, for photosynthesis.  What I find fascinating is that we see them more pronounced in the thin, darker rings of winter, yet you can see the tubes running through the summer (lighter) wood. I don't know how far individual tubes run but they are an incredible transport system.
Here is another view of the tree rings and xylem tubes in the heartwood. You can also see the scrapes of the beaver's teeth running diagonally through the rings.
Here is the cambium (in from the bark) where we are seeing phloem tubes that transport sugars from the leaves down through the tree to where they are needed during spring and summer.
Finally, Drew decided to put some fencing around "our" boat tie-up tree (also an oak) to hopefully keep the beaver at bay from taking that tree down as well. We also need to wrap fencing around the maple that is adjacent to our dock so it doesn't fall victim to the beaver!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Snow Day # 1

We got 6" of snow from this first snowstorm of the season!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chainsaw Diva

I have the coolest friends, from foresters, to outdoor educators, to classroom teachers, to neighbors who are "can do" people. I am very impressed with Neighbor Shannon who takes short courses to learn all kinds of skills from carpentry, to welding, to chainsawing! She epitomizes what Mainers are all about...self sufficient, strong willed, and kind of heart!
She just attended a full weekend course on Chainsaw Safety learning the basics of chainsaw maintenance to basic use skills. The course was run by foresters who have great skills and high standards for safety. Shannon did pretty good! Now, she can thin out trees on her property to make for a healthier forest. Cool beans!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Blueberry plants and winter mulching

I am starting to think about preparing my plants for winter. The Gardening Know How website has some information about winter mulching, which I should do for the blueberry plants. Pine needles, straw, and bark mulch work great. Remove the mulch in springtime.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

We Got Snow!


Yay! Our first snow of the season fell this morning!
It lasted for about an hour.
The temp. was in the mid-30's. And, although there was no accumulation...
it was pretty while it lasted!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Increased beaver activity on the eastern shore of Caesar Pond

I went for a short pond prowl on Caesar Pond today. The colors have faded and the leaves are falling...along with the trees! I had noticed a lot of beaver activity on our eastern shoreline, near where we have our dock and boat. 
The beavers have expanded their tree felling activities to our side of the pond! They have dropped a red oak...just down the shore from our dock.
And a birch that you see in the water, as well as a girdled oak next to our neighbors' dock. That tree will fall with the next wind storm.
I am going to show some close-up photos of each of these trees separately, starting with the northern red oak that you see here. I was fascinated by the part of the stem that was debarked as it was laying in the water.
I paddled up alongside the tree for this photo. I hope to heck that the beavers make good use of as much of this tree as possible.
They seem to have a good food stash started at the end of it.
Here is a close-up of the food stash, or could it be the beginnings of a new lodge?
And a dining "table" further out! There are lots of these "tables" around the pond.
Getting back to the oak...you can see where the beaver has tried to chew through this part of the tree and stripped the log.
I was fascinated by the base of the tree where the beaver was successful in felling it.
Check out the cracks in the base due to the torque as it fell.
And, check out all the green bottle flies who are supping on what may be sugars in the wood? or moisture? I'm not sure, but fresh wood does tend to draw in the flies. There were lots of them!
Looking at the birch...I think the beaver is making good use of this tree.
I love seeing the gnaw marks...Lotsa good eats on this log!
Now for the second oak...The beaver really did a good job on this tree. Unfortunately, when it falls, it will get very close to the dock that is used by quite a few folks at the southeast end of the pond, where the snowmobile trail comes through.
But, wait! There's more! This oak just dropped further down the shore, on the other side of the dock from where the beaver munched tree currently is.
And...lastly...here is the active beaver lodge located along the northwest shore of the pond. Neighbor Carla often joins me on my pond prowling photo expeditions and shows the scale of the massive lodge you see here.
I would be remiss in not showing you one of our perpetrators of all the tree destruction!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Planting Perennials

Picture from the Breck's website.
Today, I planted Astrantia in two holes in the primary stump garden (two plants in a hole on the south side and two plants in a hole on the east facing side.) I also planted two plants in a hole on the south facing side of the secondary stump garden. I am trying to extend the season of flowers for honey bees who will go bonkers for these flowers in late summer!
Picture from Breck's website.
I planted Blue Angel Hosta in front of the bird feeder tree where there is fairly deep shade, so we'll see how it does. I may have to amend the soil more than I did as it does like a rich humus soil.
Picture from the Breck's website.
Then, I planted Bowl of Beauty Peony next to the third stump garden, on the north side of the stump. I hope it gets enough light there. If not, I can always transplant it somewhere else. I also need to add an inch of soil to cover it up. The package directions said to plant it level with the ground, not under, while the website says to cover the root with 1" of soil. And, the soil might not be rich enough either. Aughhh...But, on the bee front, bald faced hornets do enjoy the peony flower buds that they will drill holes into on occasion (possibly to drink nectar.)

Picture from the Breck's website.
Lastly, I planted Spanish Pinkbells: 3 in front of the flower pot stump (old maple stump), 3 in front of the bird feeder stump, 3 on the outside edge of the bird-watching bench, 3 each on the back and north side of the tertiary stump garden, random placement of Pinkbells in around secondary stump garden, and in three places along the primary stump garden, and a few in the front edge of the sun garden.
Picture from the Breck's website
In Cara's GardenThere are also 10 Spanish Pink Bells along the front edge of the front garden. And one Kansas Peony in the front garden nearest the lilac.