A few weeks back, for our one-on-one outing, youngest and I hit the trails for some fresh air, exercise, and tree study. It is truly therapeutic to get outdoors. Nothing better to clear one’s mind and invigorate the senses again. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
We headed along the Marsh Trail, looking closely at the bark of trees, noticing the many different textures and colours there were to be found. The Plane Tree is a favourite of mine with it’s rather blotchy bark, smooth in some areas, rough in others.
While hiking we heard off in the distance the felling of trees. We came across the truck and from there just followed our ears. The skill, enormity (and risk) of this job is amazing. First of all, just to conquer heights alone (never mind how to shimmy up a tree the right way) is to be admired. The giant crack of a noise that follows that final severing is really something to take in when standing (well almost) alone in a forest. We’re glad the botanical gardens are taking such care to cut down trees that have died, or are at risk of falling onto trail paths.
I haven’t a decent enough camera to clearly show you the tree feller (or “fella”) hard at work here, but if you look very closely to the middle of the photo you’ll spot him eventually.
To finish our hike, we came across the Colorado Spruce (nicely marked for us in the gardens which I’m so thankful for) and the White Fir trees, both of which we had studied the week prior in our nature book Trees and Shrubs by Arabella Buckley. It was good to get a real close-up look at both of these, and find some cones on the ground to see and feel.
Notice the knotted areas where branches used to be and the sap now dripping. We learned this sap is resinous and can be used to make such things as turpentine for paint thinning, and incense.
Unfortunately, by the time I got to taking pics of the White Fir Tree’s needles, my phone was acting up and wouldn’t take the photo. But have a look at the great under two minute video clips above from Don Leopold’s YouTube channel for fascinating facts on pretty much any tree you can think of. It’s a great resource for the kids to get a quick peek at the next tree you want to study, and helps them better able to spot it when you got out looking for one on your hikes. It will make you wish you were a Dendrologist (though I’m pretty happy being a homeschool mum.)