Thursday, January 2, 2014
|photos by Jonathan Schechter Oakland County, Michigan|
Note the red squirrel perched on shattered tree bark.
The ice storm that left tens of thousands of Oakland County residents without power for almost a week late last month had a side effect: woodland renewal for wildlife. Tree limbs from forest giants, dead ash trees killed by emerald ash borers and thousand upon thousands of smaller trees came crashing down across a wide swath of Michigan. And now as winter tightens her grasp on the land the great transition to new opportunity is under way. Unlike humans that are devastated by rapid-fire change, wildlife quickly responds. For wildlife it is simple; Adapt or Die. A tree with a gaping cavity is an inviting shelter for a squirrel, raccoon or screech owl even if the sign proclaims Keep Out! Tangled limbs on the ground offer cover for rabbits and song birds and are prefect sites for wild turkey nests next spring. And large trees that are flat on the in forested areas will become ideal drumming sites for ruffed grouse in spring and provide protective shelter late next autumn for hibernation woodland frog and salamanders.