North Point changing woods

A few more forest pictures. When I first explored these woods 40 years ago, there were lots of little jack pines. Most are gone now. They grow after fires. In fact, the cones don’t even open up unless exposed to heat. They were very common in years past, but are becoming less and less so absent fires. They do not live very long, easily blow down in the wind, are not very attractive trees, nor a very good timber source, but they play the important role after fire.

The woods north of UWSP was open when many of the trees grew, as you can tell by my second picture. A white pine would never have that form if it grew in a tighter woods.

Picture #3 is a kettle pond near Eagle Wisconsin. As I explained yesterday, a kettle comes from when a chunk of ice left over from the ice age melts and leaves a kettle shaped hole. It is a nice wetland. They fill up over time. Lakes of all sorts are ephemeral features on the landscape. They are silting up and filling in from the moment they are formed. That is why there are so many little lakes where the glaciers recently (in geological time) made them. In the south, lakes tend to be flowages from rivers or ox bows.

Picture #4 just shows a bent tree, bent by another falling. In time branches will grow up and if it survives long it will be a very interesting thing to see.

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