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I Need a New Willow Tree

November 19th, 2007

     It’s time for some fall cleanup, as most of the leaves have fallen from the trees. We still have a ways to go, but there’s a freeze coming in a couple nights that should take care of everything else. And Deer hunting season ends tomorrow in Missouri for rifle hunters… I haven’t had a chance to really get out this year. I enjoy the forest at all times of the year, and I do hunt when time permits. But we don’t have quite enough forested acreage to really hunt properly, and I usually go to public land somewhere.  Too much school, kids and other stuff going on this year.

I tried a couple times near a forested corner of the property, but it seems the deer use our land to transit to larger acreages in the middle of the night. Maybe next year I will put up one of those motion cameras and see exactly when they come by. But I can attest on a couple of days at least, that from an hour before sunrise to an hour after sunset, there were no deer that came by.  One evening I saw 7 squirrels jumping from tree-top to tree-top, all heading for the same “den tree.”  It was amazing to watch the little guys leap across the sky at dusk, grabbing another branch.  Several of them went exactly the same way, up a little tiny branch, leaping to catch another tiny branch, and across the trees to their nest.

But part of my motivation this year was to find the rascal who tore up my little Willow tree! I planted it last year with high hopes for a Willow up the hill from the pond. Alas, as I walked by the other day I found that some young buck decided it would make a perfect tree to clean up his antlers- this is called a “deer rub” (they use it to rub the velvet from their antlers, and to establish territory). You can see that almost all the bark is gone from a lower area, so that’s about it for this little tree. I’ll try to find another one next year, maybe a little bigger. And I’ll need to wrap it better to protect it!

A young buck deer tore up this Willow sapling with his antlers.

    The same deer also scraped up one of my little apple trees- a Newtown Pippin from Monticello! I won’t be happy if he chews those little trees up, but I wrapped it in tape again to protect it more before he came back. He’s probably the same one who was eating the apple tree leaves the last couple of months too. Our freezer’s about empty, and if I could have seen this fellow before the season ended, we might have had some venison stew… :)

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