It’s been a lovely, mild early winter so far. There have been cold days, but for the most part, like most months, the temperature has been above average and the precipitation that has fallen has all been rain. This is great because our severe drought of the summer is just about erased. It will really help the plants once the cold weather does settle in.
One of the advantages of the mild days is that I can actually enjoy walking–and observing–nature. I have several field guides to nature in winter and I even have one specifically for birds nests–because once the deciduous trees shed their leaves, lots of birds nests become visible.
I am quite sure that this nest never would have been visible, no matter how closely I looked, when everything had leaves.
This nest is in a gingko tree, which has much lacier leaves. It’s possible that it might have been seen with some sharp eyes. I can’t say that I ever noticed it, however, until the tree lost its leaves.
And while I was out nest spotting, I saw this.
While this looks really cool, this is not a good sign. This is a sign of trouble for this tree. You can already see that it has lost two major limbs–perhaps three. The lost limbs have been cut and now the mushrooms are sprouting from the trunk in those places.
Those shelf mushrooms are a sign of interior decay within that lovely maple. It needs to come down–before a storm brings it down on the house or the neighbor’s house.
We are expecting a lot of snow this week. Let’s hope that this tree holds up.
Is that a sugar maple? It does not look quite like a silver maple.
Yes. We only have one silver maple in the neighborhood and it too is dropping branches on a too regular basis as well. Unfortunately it overhangs the street, so it could be dangerous although there have been no catastrophes so far.
Most of the trees are about the same age. And most haven’t gotten any sort of regular care. And when you put that together, it’s not surprising to see them aging badly–particularly not when you factor in the breakage from the snow, ice and wind we get.