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Friday, April 29, 2016

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

    In honor of Arbor Day today I wanted to take a different look at the value of trees. We all should recognize the value of living trees but I wanted to point out their value in death.  With the coming of Spring nature is regenerating in ways that is often unexpected.  The picture above that I took this past week shows a piece of a decaying tree that is providing nourishment to a host of insects and ferns.  It also makes an interesting photo of different colors and shapes.

   Often the decaying trees along our paths provide a wonderful home to birds like the Blue Jay pictured above. 

  Although I haven't seen the raccoon family that has inhabited a dead hollow in our Beech tree this year I have watched the tree be a home in past years to a Mother and 6 babies.  Kinda like nature's circle of life.
   Decaying wood also provided a nutrient rich soil for mushrooms like the Morel mushroom pictured above.  Look for these around Lake Elkhorn right now.  You have to have a sharp eye but spotting them will provide you with a great tasting mushroom.  I just I spot them before you do!  We Morel hunters are very secretive about our exact spots.  A little flour and frying these is a wonderful treat. 

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