Category Archives: Mushroom

Beaver Ponds, Yellow Dog, Gretchen and her Sycamore 2021-02-20

It’s good to get a little exercise.

[Log, Fungus, Yellow Dog, Sycamore]
Log, Fungus, Yellow Dog, Sycamore

Gretchen likes heaving logs under the red maples.

[Gretchen and her log]
Gretchen and her log

Beaver Pond

Birds and dogs.

[Gretchen and a beaver pond]
Gretchen and a beaver pond

Fungus

We could get it down with a ladder.

[Gretchen and the lion's mane]
Gretchen and the lion’s mane

But we left it there to grow again.

This moss grows all the time.

Woods

In her habitat.

[Gretchen in the woods with vines]
Gretchen in the woods with vines

Yellow Woods Dog

Yellow Dog knows all the woods paths.

[This way?]
This way?

Upper Pond

This is also a beaver pond now, only larger than the others.

[Quite full]
Quite full

Yellow Pond Dog

Dogs like mud.

[Yellow Dog in the pond]
Yellow Dog in the pond

Sycamore

That tree was knee-high when we transplanted it.

[Gretchen and her Sycamore]
Gretchen and her Sycamore

-jsq

Looking for Longleaf

So you’ve read Janisse Ray’s Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and you want to know more.

Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest, by Lawrence S. Earley

The tallest and strongest of pine trees, longleaf made great sailing ship masts , tar for caulking ships, and of course saw timber. How the early settlers cut down trees for houses and to clear land to farm. Their hogs and cows running loose in the woods ate the young longleaf, suppressing new trees for a hundred years. Then professional forestry took over, trying to suppress the fire that destroyed northern white pine forests, yet which preserves southern longleaf pine forests. The sad story of turpentine: we knew better, but we did it anyway.

The peculiar life cycle of a tree that starts out looking like a clump of grass, and can stay that way for decades, yet promotes and survives fire and can grow more than 100 feet tall and live for centuries. The thousands of species of plants, animals, and fungi the forest protects, many of them, like wiregrass, also adapted to fire.

How tuberculosis and quail led to new understandings of longleaf and fire, and the people who discovered those things. We do know how to grow these trees now, and lots of people are doing it: for jobs, for sawtimber, for the beauty of the forest.