Thursday, March 19, 2009

A yummy NTF

One of the special treats Maritimers associate with early spring is the chance to eat fiddleheads, which are actually the fresh young shoots of Ostrich fern. These ferns are an indicator of a rich, moist site.

The photos shown here were taken on a level area of a slope in the Cape Breton Hills between Mabou and Inverness, but I have also found these in the Cobequid Hills on level ground and along streams. The photos were probably taken around the first of June.

Fiddleheads are just one example of the many nontimber forest products (NTFs) that our Acadian Forest can provide. And they are a tasty treat for the woodland owner!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Red baneberry, an indicator of rich soils

Red baneberry, which is shown above, and White baneberry, are indicators of very rich, fine-textured soil of imperfect drainage. For me, this indicates the site is capable of supporting shade-tolerant hardwoods such as White ash, Yellow birch, Sugar maple and even Black ash (which is rare).