Lest you think I do nothing by slay animals I’ll mention the critters I saw during tonight’s
boundary patrol forest walk. In 20 minutes I saw:
- white tail deer
- red squirrels
- ruffed grouse
- numerous LBJ (little brown job) songbirds
- one particularly fat porcupine
All of the critters followed the two rules. I enjoyed seeing them and left them to their crittery lifestyle. We get along fine.
The actual purpose of the walk was my seasonal seat of the pants survey of winter tree mortality. (Here’s a hint…plan your winter tree mortality walk at the precise perfect moment in spring. If you try this too soon you’ll flounder in the snow/mud. If you try it too late your view will be obscured but rampant foliage.)
I wasn’t worried about dead trees; my forest is in reasonable health. Mostly I was planning for
recreational logging firewood cutting. Also maybe a little maintenance (the forest was pounded to death when I bought the place and a little cleaning up here and there really improves health and growth…you can see the difference year to year). Looks like I’ll have enough firewood for the immediate future and a nicely improving distribution of species and age classes. Good news and about what I expected.
Thinking of deer and grouse and firewood makes me happy to be a redneck with acres in the hinterland. Nature provides.
P.S. Porcupines are a special case, they do a job on white pine and if you’re banking on a pine plantation it might be reasonable to keep them in check. Luckily (?) I don’t have a lot of pine so the fat little critter wasn’t causing trouble. Mostly he reminded me of a cross between an Ewok and Don King.