A Short Walk on a Winter’s Day

When I started my blog a few months ago it was my intention to write one new blog about every three or four weeks.  However, I suppose that will vary a little.  I went for a short walk today and thought it would be a good time to share my discoveries and see a little of what is happening out there, in the woodlot, in the winter.  Besides it is a good day to get outside with my two best friends. 

Winter blow down. Look closely at the small pine that will now have more room & sunlight to grow

The snow is crusty and quite easy to walk on.  We have had some windy weather and I wanted to see if there are many “blow downs”.  Sure enough there are a few but nothing serious.  Trees blowing down or breaking off is a normal part of Mother Nature’s plan for making slow but sure changes in any forest.  Of course we hope we do not lose some of our more valuable trees. 

Spruce seeds on top of the crusty snow.

What I noticed on the snow as I walked was the amount of material on top of the snow.  Needles, twigs, bracts from cones and seeds…lots and lots of seeds!  We tend to think of all the seeds from trees and shrubs falling in the late summer or fall.  But here we are in late February and the snow is covered with seeds.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t surprised.  I’ve known ever since my early days in forest management that Mother Nature uses many vehicles to distribute seeds, the creation of new life in the forest. 

Muffin and Sophie in the middle of the blueberry field on a cool and windy February day.

There is perhaps no better combination than wind and crusty snow to distribute seeds kilometers from the source.  Just to prove this I went to the most open spot in my woodlot, the middle of my blueberry field.  Although this is not kilometers from the nearest tree it is at least 100 meters.  Sure enough there were tree seeds on the snow. Not as many as in the forest but not hard to find either.  What I found were mostly spruce seeds with some pine and I think some birch.  All hitching a ride on the icy snow to find a possible new home to begin a new forest.

Tiny spruce seed in the middle of the blueberry field. Evidence of the amazing power of icy snow and wind to distribute seeds far and wide.

The wind was strong today and my two friends and I decided to return to the warm comfort of our home.  I have always said that I have never walked in the woodlot without seeing something new.  It is a dynamic place that changes week by week, day by day and even hour by hour.  I am sure if I went back again this afternoon I would find other interesting things to see.  I think writing this blog about Watts Tree Farm will help me keep my eyes open.  I know I said I would get ino the topics of forest management but in a way I think we did that today.   You may have learned a little about how Mother Nature regenerates new life in the forest.  We will have lots of time to think about how we put small bits of knowledge together to understand how to manage a forest. 

Until next time, keep safe and well.


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