Field Notes: What’s in the Woods Today? Nov. 21, 2017

November 21, 2017 9:56 am

Field Notes: What's in the Woods Today? Nov. 21, 2017

by Area Forester Lisa Deaton

A Day of Double Takes

It is still close enough to Halloween that I thought I saw a ghost in the woods last week.

ghost in tree


Upon looking closer, it was just a tarp, but it was hanging very high in this tree.  It protected a hunter’s tree stand at one time.


Then a bright red dot on a yellow-poplar caught my eye.

mite on tree trunk

I think it was a mite because it had 8 legs and a one-part body.

The third surprise was an old car in the middle of the woods.  The trees were not letting this large piece of metal prevent them from reaching for the sun.

Firebird in woods

A fourth surprise was three eastern white pines growing along a stream.  Eastern white pine is not native to this location in southeastern Virginia, and it grows one whorl  of branches per year.  So from this photo we can deduce that someone planted these trees about 30 years ago.

white pine w label

Another thing that surprises foresters in the woods is abandoned houses. I usually stop and take a moment to think about what the house was like on special days like Thanksgiving.

old house in woods

These journeys into the woods were to help landowners decide if it is a good time to harvest their trees.  Loggers working nearby had expressed interest in purchasing the timber.  Our Virginia Department of Forestry’s website offers a good deal of information on selling timber.