Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday's Hunt v 3.02

It's time for Eden Hills' Friday's Hunt again.  This week, our prompts are:  Starts with B, Week's Favourite, and Creature.

Starts with B
Today I thought I'd share some thoughts about bark.  All trees have it, and it tends to be overlooked as one is walking in the woods.  It's just part of the scenery.  However, bark has a lot of functions - it protects the trees in numerous ways, it provides habitat for insects and thus provides food for birds. It also provides humans with some useful products, such as cork.

I'm particularly fond of birch bark.  I have a lot of birch trees in my yard, and their bark makes a lovely contrast because of its predominantly white colour.  We have three species of birch here - white birch, yellow birch and grey birch.  I'm not an expert on differentiating between these species, although I believe that the two pictures of birch bark that I show below are two different species - the second one certainly has a more yellowish-golden look to it.

Sometimes bark also provides a habitat for moss and lichen.  Here is a close up of a tree in my woods that is certainly providing a good home for a variety of lichens.  I'm no expert on lichen identification, so I can't name these for you.

Week's Favourite(s)
I finished knitting my sheep hat, and I'm really happy with it!

I also took an interesting picture of snow that had fallen onto the top of a young spruce.  I think it sort of looks like a big white starfish sitting on top of the tree!

Most of you who have followed my blog for a while know that I'm very fond of the little creatures that scuttle around in the undergrowth of the woods.  In the winter, I think they have trouble finding enough food sometimes, and they are all too often food for other creatures.  I recently took some more pictures of a vole under my bird feeder.  I'm glad to have it visiting, and I hope it keeps its tummy full as a result!  The vole is hard to photograph because it's so quick, and I'm always taking the pictures through my home office window, but I got some reasonably good ones this time!

Peeking out to see if it's safe!

Grabbing a sunflower seed.


The vole and the squirrel have a series of tunnels under the snow.  I can tell which tunnel belongs to each creature by the size of the opening, although sometimes the vole uses the squirrel tunnels (but not vice versa).


Jim said...

This was a very interesting post about the bark, Claire. For sure I learned one thing, that cork comes from the bark of trees. Googling found the most from the 'Cork Oak' tree. I also discovered that you can buy used wine bottle corks for $.08 US each from the Widget Company. I wonder if they buy them? They must.
A few weeks ago I learned about the Vole. I do hope yours can survive the winter.

Tom said...

OK, bark, birch bark, I'm with you. The hat, neat as can be! But, voles, what creepy destruction little monsters they are. I hope that they don't eat you garden this winter!

Jim said...

I put catsup (ketchup) on my sausage, the hash browns and corn beef hash, scrambled eggs, and the omelet. Also on French Fries and some hamburgers and mashed potatoes but never hot dogs or bacon.

Michelle said...

I love bark, too. We have a native tree, the madrone, with the most beautiful bark I have ever seen. I know I've posted a photo of it in the past; here, I found it:

Your hat is wonderful! Wish I liked to WEAR hats....

Margaret Adamson said...

I love your knitted hat and it certainly will keep you warm in that snow. I also love the Birch and I personally do look at the bark of trees and indeed I have one on my post today as well. However i never knew that there were 3 types of of Birch. That little Vole looks such a cute guy in the snow. I hope you have a wonderful weekend

Ralph said...

We don't oft en think pf bark and its uses (of course we live in the 'Burbs with not much forest), home for ins acts which makes food for birds, etc. Your woods are lovely...a she p knit hat is so cool. We had a vole in our house many years ago - the cat went crazy when hearing the vole but not seeing it - happily he/she will fatten up nicely as he hangs around the feeder! Nice catch I missed - 'B' of course is for Bunny too :)

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Love your hat!

Gattina said...

We have quite a lot of bark in the garden instead of plants or grass, it doesn't need entertaining and we had put plastic underneath so that the weeds can't grow ! Very practical ! Your bonnet is beautiful and the little critter so cute !

Anonymous said...

Interesting lesson on bark. I know that is one of the problems with keeping trees in cattle pastures. They rub on the trees and end up removing the bark. Lovely birch trees you have! You hat is adorable! I think your little vole is cute. Thanks so much for joining Friday's Hunt. Have a great week!

orchid Miyako said...

Claire Dearest Claire; I love your knitted hat as well. I remember did a little knitting when young and enjoyed it p:-) I don't have much knowledge about tree, it was interesting to read your post♩ Important function in Nature and varieties of birches☆☆☆
Have a wonderful new week.
Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*