Tree Identification for Cottagers

Up until a couple of years ago, I lived in what could be described as oblivion when it came to certain things around our cottage. On the shore of a lake, surrounded by trees and wildlife, I had become more or less blind to both the trees and the wildlife. Sure, I saw it all, but I really didn’t know much about it.

A Tree Is A Tree?

A tree was a tree, and a songbird..well it was a bird….That is until my daughter gave me a couple of books for my birthday, one was A Field Guide to Eastern Forests: North America (Peterson Field Guides(R))

At first I have to admit, I wasn’t too excited about this book until I started to read it, but as I delved into it, I discovered there is a lot to learn about the trees around us.

Since then that book has become a regular companion as I stroll around our little woodlot, examining the trees and bushes, and now can say that I actually know the types of most, if not all of the trees on our property. In fact, tree identification has become something of a hobby with me.

Here I am getting an up close look at a tree.

alt="man in tree"
The trees on our land are not that varied, but it is a mixed forest of hardwood and softwood, and I have learned for example, that not all the evergreen trees are ‘spruce trees’ as I always referred to them. Nor are all the pine trees “white pines” Now that I have learned at least a little tree identification. I can tell the difference between the various species of trees.

OK…it’s not exactly exciting as fishing, but it is nice to know ‘stuff’ if for no other reason than to wow your neighbors with your natural science intelligence…..ha-ha…

The other book my daughter gave me is The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

I’m not much of a ‘birder’ but since I got this book, I have taken more interest in the birds that hang around my feeder, and my woodlot in general.

It’s great knowing more than just the name of a bird, I now know a little bit about a few of the more common ones, and a small bird is no longer just a ‘bird’ ‘sparrow’ or duck to me.

I occasionally take one of the books and stroll around the property identifying the trees and birds, mostly the trees…the birds don’t hold still long enough…

I have learned a good deal about the various trees, information that has proven….um…well…it’s nice to know stuff…

Seriously, having a little bit of knowledge about the natural world around your cottage makes the whole cottage experience a little better.

So now, when we’re sitting on the deck having a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning, I can say to my neighbor, “Oh look at the Sawwhet Owl over there sitting on the larch between the red spruce and the white pine…”
A Field Guide to Eastern Forests: North America (Peterson Field Guides(R))
The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America

We had a visitor to the Cottage Chronicles last night who has a great blog of interest to cottagers and country living folks, Jennifer Robin, of Robin’s Woods

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