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Old Mar 1, 2010, 1:16 PM   #1
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Default A Beech Forest Ramble

Was out Saturday on one of our park's MTB trails, in the midst of about 80 acres of old-growth Beech-Maple forest. It's a great place at any season, even on these gray late-winter days...
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 1:17 PM   #2
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Despite the cold and damp, many old-growth plant species are up & growing (got to start early, before trees leaf out). Here's some Rattlesnake Orchid with both old and new leaves. Can you tell where the name comes from?
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 1:18 PM   #3
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Old forests are great for fungus in amazing variety. This Shelf Fungus only grows on Black Locust trees, and is always parallel to the ground.
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 1:20 PM   #4
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Older, larger forests are also the best place to look for Fox Squirrels. Gray Squirrels are much more common here, and much less shy of having people around. But I only spot the Fox Squirrels out in the deep woods, like this fat little fellow who posed nicely for a few moments, high in a big Oak.
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 1:22 PM   #5
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Back at home, the feeder was full of birds (filling up before the next flurries). Here are just a few shots, just for fun...
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 1:23 PM   #6
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Looking for more flurries and clouds, and more chances to ramble outdoors. Hope your wintry walks are full of discovery too!

Thanks for any comments & critiques!!
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 3:44 PM   #7
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Those are great photos Mole!
Outstanding sharpness and color, nice composition too.
That squirrel is definitely Fat!
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 10:06 PM   #8
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I love the bark texture in your second one, and of course, the birds and squirrel. Looks like the snow finally melted in some places and spring is trying to arrive.
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 12:12 AM   #9
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These are super Mole...great series.
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Old Mar 3, 2010, 6:57 AM   #10
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GW - Thanks so much for your very kind comments! Yes it was a fat one - of course now is "young'un" season for the Fox Squirrels - perhaps she was pregnant??

Harriet - Thanks so much! Red Maples have some amazing bark patterns, especially the "middle-aged" trees. Young ones have almost smooth bark, old ones get rather craggy (something like people?). We don't usually get snow cover for long periods here at the lower elevations - just a few days of snow, then melting away, then some more... Had about an inch yesterday, and it's all gone by today.

Gina - Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them!
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