Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I got lucky last winter

Over Memorial day weekend Ella, Maya and I went out to the big woods by our house with my Samuel Thayer foraging books to see what kind of plants we could identify and eat.  I need more foraging practice because we would have died of starvation or poisoning if dependent on my foraging skills to eat.  We also surveyed the woods I got my maple sap out of early this spring.  The survey goal was to identify maple trees to tap next year and to figure out how I did last winter trying to identify sugar maples without leaves.

Out in the woods I have to refer to the girls as deer.  If it gets them out learning in the woods I will call them anything they want.  

After searching every big tree in the woods over a couple hours Ella got surprisingly good at telling ash, elm, oak and Maple trees apart.  Ash and elm were still confusing until we talked to Heath and he pointed out an alternating leave on the elm versus the opposite pattern on the ash.   The tree on the left above is a big sugar maple and is the same tree in the pic just below.  It is in this group of four other big trees about 75 feet south and a little west of big sweetie on the south side of the wet part of that section of woods.  I know descriptions of where trees are is not great blogging but part of what I use this blog for is remembering things and by next spring I will not remember these trees if I don't write it down.    

The Maple below is called the arm wrestler and is on the west side in about 50 feet between the two little meadows by the big bone pile (Edit not sure of this location see next post).

Next is big sweetie.  She is found by going in on the North side in the middle with the neighborhood to your back.  When you see the widow tree holding her dead husband go left about 50 feet to big sweetie. 

 I am amazed that I happened to tap this tree because after all of our survey  efforts last weekend we only found these three sugar maples in the large portion of the forest we searched.  Lots of little ones but of the big trees this was it.  The trees I was sure were sugar maples with my winter identification efforts were all ash trees.  No wonder I didn't get any sap from them.  I taped big sweetie in a fit of desparation after weeks of no sap from my other trees.  What are the chances I would find one of the three?
  The girls spontaneously ran up to her and gave her a big hug.  I guess that makes them tree huggers.

 For some reason Ella and Maya  kept laughing when we discovered this tree .

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