Tag Archive: What’s in the Woods Today

Field Notes

An Ode to Dead Trees

June 9, 2021 - By Ellen Powell, VDOF Conservation Education Coordinator Contributors: Lisa Deaton, Kenny Thomas, Chris Thomsen    Recently, I’ve received photos from several VDOF staff, which I’d planned to use in a “What’s in the Woods Today?” post. This time, all the photos had something interesting in common: trees that were either going, or gone. Fortunately, a dead tree can be full of life, in more ways than one. This sassafras in... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? September 2, 2019

September 13, 2019 - By Project Learning Tree Coordinator Page Hutchinson Look A Little Closer… Although I work for the Virginia Department of Forestry, my job doesn’t actually allow me much time in the forest. Being a tree hugger from way back, I take as many opportunities as I can to get in the forest. On the recent Labor Day holiday, my friend Karen and I went for a hike on the Graves Mill... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? August 14, 2019

September 11, 2019 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton Dung Beetles A local farmer asked me to examine a 40-year-old stand of loblolly pines to see if they were large enough to harvest. A corn field was located in the center of the property and we noticed some very fresh deer scat along the field edge. On the way back to the truck we saw something moving on the ground. It was a dung... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? August 7, 2019

August 13, 2019 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton Spiders August is spider month. If you have ever been the first person in line on a hiking trail, you have probably experienced the feeling of a spider web wrapping around your face. Just about the time you remove that web, another one lands in its place. By late summer, these “shell-backed” spiders (above), Micrathena gracilis, seem to have taken over the forest and cobwebs... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s In The Woods Today? July 23, 2019

August 6, 2019 - By Area Forester Lisa Deaton Country Roads The last few generations of trees have literally grown over top of numerous changes in our transportation network. Sometimes what looks like a wide trail or ditch is actually a road to an old homestead, as in the photo below. Sometimes the old roads follow property line boundaries (below). Sometimes, we come across former logging roads (below). This can simplify preparations for the... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? May 15, 2019

June 5, 2019 - Brush Piles and ‘Possums and Other Little Surprises By Area Forester Lisa Deaton As I was walking through a clearcut to help a landowner consider reforestation options, I saw an opossum cross a nearby dirt road. I thought to myself, “Surely I can outrun a ‘possum and take some photos.” However, I had to hop over logging debris and briars, while the opossum followed its well-worn path through the vines... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? April 22, 2019

April 22, 2019 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Two Snake Day! Last week the sun was shining, and the fresh spring foliage and flowers were lovely.  The road in the photo above was a Gloucester County state road until Beaverdam Reservoir was built in 1989,  submerging a section of this road. Pawpaw blooms (Asimina triloba) Eastern redbud blooms can resemble tiny hummingbirds. (Cercis canadensis) Then I almost stepped on a copperhead snake heading... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? October 12, 2018

October 12, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Wind Damage Last night was not a good night for sleeping in southeastern Virginia.  The storms rolled through after dark, so we could only wonder what all the thumps and bumps meant.  When I woke up this morning, I found a clump of three trees that had blown down in the woods next to our garden. On the bright side, I guess the frogs will... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Sept. 5, 2018

September 5, 2018 - by Forester Lisa Deaton Fruit Every August, our agency assists the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries with their Mast Survey.  Mast is not just a word to describe the tall post on ships; it is also a term used to describe the fruit of trees and plants that provide food sources for wildlife. Trees do not bear the same amount of fruit (i.e. nuts) reliably from year to... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018 - Kids! by Forester Lisa Deaton Many localities and organizations offer great opportunities for kids to enjoy the outdoors at summer camps and day camps.  The Virginia Department of Forestry, in cooperation with natural resource conservation agencies and organizations, offers Holiday Lake Forestry Camp for 13-16 year olds every summer at the Holiday Lake 4-H Center near Appomattox, Virginia. Our local day-campers all learn about Smokey Bear and his fire prevention... Read More