Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Forest Nobility

The forest around Lac Philippe is upland deciduous, not the white pine dominated association of the Ottawa valley.  Two of my favourite species hang onto their leaves well into the winter - American Beech and Red Oak.  I regard these as noble trees as they become magnificent large specimens, are slower growing and yield denser wood than many of the other species in the forest.   I particularly love the smooth beech trunks.

The leaves slowly blow off through the winter and often become lodged in the ski tracks, which can be a problem on mild days as the sticky grip wax stalls or picks up bits of leaves.  This was not a problem last weekend as it was a 'blue wax' day which is very hard and allowed me to glide over these vestiges of summer.

The beech leaves are like thin parchment while the oak leaves are leathery and tough.

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