Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Birches: if opossums were trees.

The birches of Richmond make a motley urban forest. Of mixed native and European (at least) heritage, they can be anything from stately and weeping to spindly and half-dead, moreso the latter. And then there are the completely dead ones that take their sweet time collapsing onto car ports.


They are infested with fungus-farming beetles, native and from other time zones and continents. They are digested by Fomes and other fungi.


Hedera and other nasties climb upon and strangle them.

Diseased, dilapidated, disintegrating.

Why so gloomy? That's the kind of day it is. Somebody turn on the Christmas lights.


P.S. Flickers, chickadees, Tree Swallows, Downies et al. wouldn't have them any other way.

3 comments:

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

You really don't like possums, do you:?

Hugh said...

LOL. I love possums. But they're kind of decrepit, inelegant and short lived, like birches.

Susan Tomlinson said...

I don't know much about trees/forest (being a prairie/desert girl), so I have some questions. Do those dead birches host a native ecosystem? Are they useful that way? And are they being killed off faster than normal?

Otherwise, I don't think the pictures look gloomy at all!