Trees that have died and are still standing (snags), and trees that have fallen provide many homes and food for wildlife. Here are some examples.
Excavated cavities provide homes for woodpeckers.
When they leave a cavity, secondary nesters move in. These include chickadees, titmice, wrens, and bluebirds.
The hollow part of limbs also house owls, raccoons, squirrels, and some bats.
Many invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals live in or on fallen trees.
Fireflies use decaying logs to complete their life cycle.
The hollow trunks provide homes for skunks, foxes, mice, and weasels, to name a few.
That’s a ton of uses as a tree finishes its life. It helps coming and going….as a fallen tree decomposes it provides nutrients back to the forest floor.
So, you might think twice before cutting a grand old tree that has died down. Of course there are times when you have to remove one, like being too close to a structure or fence. But if it’s a safe distance, then save it for our wildlife.
We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day soon and at my age that doesn’t mean a dozen roses or a box of candy from a six-foot good-looking guy! It is a time that gives me pause to think about the appreciation I feel for a group of people.
I appreciate the value system of our Master Naturalist group. There has been due diligence in protecting us and still providing opportunities. On the state level, the Virtual Volunteer Fair was awesome, but the event impacting me the most is joining the Winter BioBlitz. Linda Jo has been such a supporter for all of us in participating in iNaturalist, but I always found an excuse.
Excuses including: I need a new iPhone, more books, more expertise…
First time out I came back with my photographs and spent hours pouring over plant identification references. I don’t regret the time spent, but it was overkill when you have Linda Jo checking your work! I ended up with three research-quality entries (my yaupon holly is shown below), and you would have thought I had just gotten a gold star on my research paper. ( Please do not ask me about lichens or mosses though.) I encourage anyone hesitating to take the big step, take it!
So, to all of you that have worked so hard to keep us active, safe and appreciated, thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!
I’ve been seeing that some areas of pollution have cleared up somewhat since people have been restricted in travel. Can this be true? The canals of Venice are clear, and dolphins have returned. Satellite images of northern Italy show a huge reduction in fouled air.
Is this Mother Nature’s way of saying, “Hey people! Stop destroying this wonderful world I’ve provided for you?” If we can’t be responsible caretakers, we get a wake-up call in the guise of a pandemic and mandatory quarantines, huh?
Factories have shut down, travel is curtained, people are socked up at home (not so much running up and down the road at any and every impulse).
Sadly, the reports indicate that all will return to normal. Factories will belch poison into the air again, cars will spew brown smoke again, planes will dart about like flies in the sky. Here we go again! Didn’t we learn anything? Probably not. We have become so self centered that we won’t make even the smallest sactifice, even to save ourselves.
Mother nature has sent us to our rooms.
PS from the webmaster: We have learned that dolphins really were not swimming in the canals of Venice, though it’s certainly a lovely image. Let us know if anything else we share is not verified!