On my recent visit with my family in Quebec, Canada, I spent quite a bit of time in the woods. You know the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees?” I like to flip that and notice the individual trees that comprise the forest. This forest on Mont. Rigaud in western Quebec is heavily managed, but interesting nevertheless.
A few trees, like this one, are ancient, first growth relics. The entity that manages this trail saw fit to mark it with a sign and an explanation of how dying and decaying trees, known in French as “chicots” provide shelter and food for animals and birds.
Here’s the sign.
Here’s another example of how dying trees benefit wildlife. This cedar was riddled with oblong pileated woodpecker holes. Pileateds are the biggest woodpeckers in the area by far, and my sister has them coming to her peanut and sweet feeders where they hammer away at the food.
There were many white birches along the trail. It’s too warm in Rhode Island now to grow these trees reliably. People have switched to river birches here.