Birch wood tends to decay quite rapidly. Birch bark on the other hand is extremely resistant to rot. It is not uncommon to find birch logs lying on the ground in which the bark is still intact, but the wood inside has rotted away to mush. The waterproof bark hold moisture in the log, creating a perfect environment for fungi and bacteria to work on the wood. Here's a little tip: if you want to use birch as a firewood, it has to be split to allow the moisture to escape.
I do love the Skunk Cabbage.
No matter how many times I see them, I just can't get enough.
Perhaps its just the craving for something blooming,
But this time of year I am drawn again and again back into the swamp to see the Skunk Cabbage.
I didn't spend all of my time looking down at the ground. I did manage to see a flock of Wild Turkeys sneaking through the woods ahead of me. There were at least six birds in the flock and probably more that I couldn't see because of the trees.
After the turkeys passed through, I managed to find some "evidence" of their passing. Yes, that is a pile of turkey scat.
Maybe I do spend a lot of time looking at the ground. FYI this is not the first photo of animal scat to appear on this blog. A quick search for "scat" in the search box to the right will reveal at least six other photos.
But life is not all Skunk Cabbage and turkey scat...
It is also full of Downy Woodpeckers.
Life is especially full of mosses.
On a side note, I am currently reading the book Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It is a thoroughly enjoyable book about science written for the average reader. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about natural history. I also heartily recommend her more recent book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants.