Friday, November 30, 2018

Weather for November

The average monthly high temperature for November is 44F, and the average low is 29F. This month our average high was 38.5F, and our average low was 25.5F. We got 18 inches of snow in Bowdoin.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Snow Day # 3

Snow Day # 3 is here! Three snow days in November is a record! At 6:30 am, we have 5" on the ground, and it is super heavy and wet. We are fully expecting a power outage today. 

By the way, by this day in 2014, Nov. 27, 2014, we had 23" of snow on the ground, but no snow days as the storms fell on weekends! That 2014-2015 year we had 103" of snow. So, who knows, maybe we'll come close to that snow total this season!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Another snow day! The weather wasn't too bad all day until the evening commute. But, I'm not complaining. I haven't gotten a good snow total as the snow was super wet, then fluffy, then compacted as super wet again,and later back to huge flakes. I am going to hazard a guess that we received at least 5 inches of fluff!

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! It was then blown around by the wind after which some of it melted from part of the pond.
I took photos of the ice in its melty stage, but I think it was a good inch thick.
Gee...what are some of the last leaves to fall from the trees? Just look a the pond and you will see many northern red oak leaves scattered around and stuck to the ice.

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.