Tag Archive: Wildlife

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? July 10, 2018

July 10, 2018 - Turtles by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Why do turtles cross the road? The answer turns out to be the same as the famous chicken riddle:  to get to the other side.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service provides information on how to safely assist turtles in the direction they are traveling here: https://medium.com/usfws/turtles-are-crossing-the-road-96dafc2b3515 . Driving with your full attention on the road in front of you is always a good... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Riparian Buffers and the Sargasso Sea…What’s the Connection?

July 2, 2018 - by VDOF Senior Area Forester Scott Bachman An SMZ or streamside management zone, also known as a riparian buffer, is an area along a stream or creek (or a river if you have one in your back yard!).  In forestry this SMZ is commonly wooded (grass buffers can be very important in agriculture areas).  During a timber harvest the VDOF encourages all landowners to retain at minimum 50 percent of... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? May 9, 2018

May 9, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Flowers, Birds and Bugs When the songbirds and wildflowers reappear each spring, it feels a bit like a reunion with long lost friends.  The migratory songbirds fill the air with familiar songs.  The month of May brings many beautiful wildflowers, including its namesake, the Mayapple (below). Golden ragwort (top photo) is a common wildflower in cutovers, and this large patch of ragwort (below) provides some... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today April 5, 2018

April 5, 2018 - by VDOF Area Forester Lisa Deaton Wildlife and Clearcuts Part 2 A beaver hut in the middle of a pond or swamp is a familiar sight.  The one above is located in Beaverdam Swamp in Gloucester County. While mapping a creek for another Riparian Buffer Tax Credit application, I had the opportunity to see a number of signs of beaver activity alongside a clearcut. First, I came across the beaver... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018 - by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Wildlife and Clearcuts, Part-One Cutover tracts of timber can look bleak during winter, but this leaf-less time of the year presents a great chance to see signs of wildlife.  It is also easy to encounter wildlife in clearcuts because many species take advantage of the change in habitat.  The Young Forest Project provides much more information on growing wildlife habitat and the benefits of young... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: Name Those Tracks!

February 22, 2018 - by Forestry Technician Jesse Bander Can you identify these tracks found on a muddy stream bank? If you guessed a raccoon (Procyon lotor lotor), you know your tracks!  Raccoons are very active this time of year, with February being the middle of their breeding season (January – March). For more information on this common, but mischievous, mammal please visit: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/information/raccoon/  

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Feb. 21, 2018

February 21, 2018 - Owls and Berries by Area Forester Lisa Deaton Last week began with finding an owl pellet in my yard.  Lately I have been hearing the call of great horned owls.  In the past, we have seen barred owls and eastern screech-owls. There are many good branches on the loblolly pine directly overhead for an owl to perch and digest a meal. I took a second look at the pellet after... Read More

Field Notes

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

February 12, 2018 - Waiting for Spring by Area Forester Lisa Deaton This great blue heron, like many of us, seems to be contemplating warmer weather. The daffodils in the eastern part of the state are getting ready to bloom. The squirrels are carrying mouthfuls of leaves from the forest floor and adding them to their nests in the trees.  I tried to catch a photo of that, but squirrels move so fast. The... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Jan. 10, 2018

January 10, 2018 - by  Area Forester Lisa Deaton Snack Bars for Birds Winter is a time of year when people start to notice damage to their trees.  Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are a member of the woodpecker family, and they can drill an alarming number of holes into a single tree in search of sap and insects.  This is a large yellow-poplar in Gloucester County.             While the holes are... Read More

Field Notes

Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Nov. 8, 2017

November 8, 2017 - Snack Time by VDOF Area Forester Lisa Deaton Last week I was asked to see if a 16-year-old loblolly pine plantation had grown large enough for a commercial thinning. I was perplexed to find what looked like pieces of honeycomb on the ground.  There were no large hollow trees nearby, just young, solid pine trees. Then I noticed that there were several pieces of it scattered around a nearby hole... Read More