Sunday, December 06, 2009

Woodman, spare that snag!

City folk -- and suburban people, as well -- have no use for snags, those dead outlines of trees that used to be. In fact, in civilized locations, if a tree is failing, the arborist is quickly called in for last rites. It's all a matter of tidiness (and perhaps a desire not to be reminded of one's own mortality).

Admittedly, thanks to our drought and the bark beetle infestation, we currently have more than our share of snags in the woods.

I've no idea what caused this forest of snags, which I discovered in a download of my Sson's photos from the Gulf Coast. But the image does demonstrate why naturalists recommend saving dead tree bones -- I count at least three large nests. And here, below, is a closeup of one tenant -- an osprey on lookout duty.

Until recently, this was a tall pine down near Crown King. A dead tree like this eventually becomes the sort of snag that makes an excellent home for an eagle's nest (thanks to friend Bob for this picture below).

Winter Links: The dotter has a new camera, which she has been exercising with scrumptious Alaskan seasonal pictures; take a look. Hoarded Ordinaries meditates on how drab December is before the snow arrives, while Dagny points her camera at a leafless winter tree.


Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

That looks like the stand of trees near Gulf Sres Alabama killed out by hurricane Katrina.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

The small bush area near our house has an abundance of snags. They too provide nesting potential for both birds and bats.


Granny J said...

ofm -- could be -- is the location a Natl. Park (for which the Sson is an ecologist)?

bro -- I suspect that it's chiefly the Big Birds that go for the snags; the little guys tend to like their privacy (from the Big Guys).

Anonymous said...

Glad there are others who like snags, too.

They add a Tim Burton-esque quality to forests and woodland areas. ;-)

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- thanks to the big storm that passed our way, I'll have a new snag to post when I get the picture. It's the remains of a neighborhood tree that I wrote about last September.

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