Ecology lab - week 2

This gorgeous morning was the second section of the ecology lab.  We saw two more interesting trees that I thought was worth photographing.

Blue-Beech (Carpinus caroliniana) - the current existing trees on the drumlin are fairly small, the largest a student measured was 28 cm in circumference.  Some people call them "muscle trees" because of the muscle-like ridges on the trunks.  Even though it's call Blue-Beech, it is actually in the Birch family while the American Beech is a true beech belonging in the Beech family.  Confusing, I know.

This is a young American Beech (Fagus grandifolia).  The mature trees are silvery-grey, but apparently the young trees are reddish-brown.

One of the reasons that we conducted this lab is because of the invasion by the Emerald Ash Borer as well as the invasive scale insect Cryptococcus fagisuga and the associating fungus.  Unfortunately, we found out that the beech bark disease is now here on the South Drumlin because of the fungus seen above and below.  Beech trees are important because the nuts are food sources for birds and mammals.

Fungus all over this poor tree.

Wildlife-wise, we heard many chickadees while we we scattered throughout the trail, as well as the occasional woodpeckers, crows, and one nuthatch.  However, when we were finished and headed back to the cars, I saw this Red-tailed Hawk just soaring above the drumlin.  I only brought my 40-150 lens today, but it was interesting to photograph it through all the branches in between.

I love it when we can be outside and learn new things about nature at the same time, especially it is sunny and not cold at all.

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