Nature… The Storyteller for Generations

If you look past the products I can make for you and dig deep into my roots…you will see my story. –The Forest

Forests are not only a means to an end.  We sometimes forget that a forest is more than a group of trees that can make us money, or a habitat that will bring us the largest buck at hunting season, or a place to gather firewood, which are great too. However, Forests have stories too, if we think about the bigger picture in many cases and look beyond what is currently standing there we can begin to unravel what may have been before those trees we see now.

I had the opportunity to meet a landowner who has already done this.  He already looked past the current state of his woodlot and can now picture the men years and years ago logging off the white pine in Clare County.  His property is unique in its history for Michigan because it is a major landing ground for the logging done back in the 1870’s.  To this day you can still see where the old railroad track was; ties are still being found on the property and you can still see where men physically dug holes along skid trails to make a flat trail so they could haul logs by horse and not tip.  It was humbling and yet crazy to stand there and picture all those years ago men doing all this work.  Its rare to stand somewhere and really be able to picture what was going on hundreds of years ago. To this day, you can also see the old stumps of harvested white pines throughout the property- which leads to this landowner’s theory on more history to his property.

There is a drop off along the one edge/ corner of his property where you can see where stumps are then at the bottom of the hill there are no stumps to be found.  So we can only speculate that the amount of pine down the hill was not great enough for them to harvest and drag back up the hill.  There are still white pines down there- very large ones- that are assumed by the owners to be “virgin” pines! Ones left behind by the loggers back in the 1870’s because they were not worth it.  We walked around and looked at them, they could easily be 150+ years old!

Going back to just looking at the trees however, I was also blown away.  When this landowner approached me he said his property is one I HAVE to see.  He had read my blog and got the idea that I love forests and am a tree hugger.  Not a crazy assumption, he was totally right.  He began to tell me about how he has veneer size aspen and oaks.  Okay, I have see some nice aspen trees in my day- but the one monster of a tree I saw on his, had even me drooling! Normally when aspen starts to hit maturity it gets hypoxlyn canker or other diseases and decay.  Not this one, it stood tall and beautiful, took my breath away. I stood next to it and looked to the sky to see it standing straight and tall into the beautiful blue sky. Truly amazing!

I go on many site visits (beauty of my work) and every single one has something unique and beautiful to share.

Next time you are out in the forest…look past the trees and shrubs and think about the bigger picture.  Think about how it became a forest, where it came from, the history. 

I am more than just a group of trees…I am a story. –The Forest

A maple and Oak- grown together in harmony :)
A maple and Oak- grown together in harmony 🙂
Amazing ground view of the Aspen
Amazing ground view of the Aspen
Theory of the "Virgin" White Pine
Theory of the “Virgin” White Pine
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Bats…Trees…Bats

I am so sick of all these mosquito’s!

This is a common line I hear from many landowners as well as my friends.  I often walk through landowners woodlots and they start complaining or mentioning areas they do not go to because the mosquitoes are unbearable.  My response is a laugh and then I say “well there is a tree, go buy a bat house”! Often I get a puzzled thought and then response of “really”?! Yes, bat houses are not a cure all but they do help reduce the amount of mosquitoes in an area, least a bit.  On average one bat can eat up to 7,000 maybe more mosquitoes in a night!!! ONE NIGHT!!! A tiny little bat consumes thousands of mosquitoes for din din in a night!!! That means get a few bats in there and your problem will be reduced.

Put it up and they will come- I say!

Bats are a hot topic right now in the Midwest and probably other areas, as well.  I have been doing research on the Northern Long-Eared bat, Myotis septentrionalis, because it has become an issue here and relates to forestry.  It could impact the amount of harvesting done during the summer months.  The Northern Long-Eared bat is being affected by the white nose syndrome.  It is a fungus that affects the nose, ears and wings of a bat during hibernation.  The fungus is cold loving fungus so it attacks them during the cold months; hibernation.  The fungus hurts their hydration “processes” and they burn more fat then they should therefore when they wake after a long cold winter they often are dehydrated and die. This fungus is killing thousands of bats.

I have been watching webinars and such on the topic of listing the bat on the endangered species list.  There is a lot of controversy because of summer harvesting.  Bats roost or sleep upside down in hollow trees and if unknown when a tree harvesting takes place the bats well sadly they die.  I believe, correct me if I am wrong, the last I heard was that the bats were listed as threatened.

Awareness needs to be addressed with the subject. We as an economy cannot stop harvesting in the summer months, it would cause crashes in production mills with summer wood and cause more to close. But the bats are also important therefore awareness is key here.  So when I tell landowners not to just put up a bat house for their benefits of reduction in mosquitoes and other insects but also so they have a safe place to roost where we are able to tell where they are.  Bats get a bad wrap, but really they are harmless and like everything else need to be see as a fluffy little creature so we CARE!

See that tree…put up a bat house….or two or three! Build it and they will come!!

Check out my Ears!
Check out my Ears! I am cute too! Save me!