What’s in the Woods Today? 11/8/2017

Snack Time

by VDOF Area Forester Lisa Deaton

Last week I was asked to see if a 16-year-old loblolly pine plantation had grown large enough for a commercial thinning.

I was perplexed to find what looked like pieces of honeycomb on the ground.  There were no large hollow trees nearby, just young, solid pine trees.honeycomb

Then I noticed that there were several pieces of it scattered around a nearby hole in the ground. yellowjacket hole

Also, the nest pieces were paper-like and not made of wax.  Yellowjackets build nests in the ground, so perhaps a skunk or raccoon dug up this nest to eat the wasp larvae inside.  I am embarrassed to say that after 30 years of being allergic to yellowjackets, I’ve just learned that they are wasps, and not bees.

I walked a little further and saw empty soybean pods on the ground. soybeans

A number of animals and birds enjoy eating soybeans, but why were these in the middle of the woods?  I looked up, and realized I was fairly close to a soybean field (in the direction of the shining sun).

looking towards field

Here is one more photo from these woods of something mentioned in last week’s post:  a buck rub, where a white-tailed deer had rubbed its antlers against a young hardwood tree.buck rub

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