Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 52

below the front porch, were trampled by bears overnight and stripped of their almost-ripe fruit. During the last several years, our hunters have trimmed the deer herd and the black raspberries have begun to recover. Last summer we had a perfect storm of berries — patches outside the kitchen door, below the front porch, surrounding the springhouse, on a steep slope beside the guesthouse, and in the guesthouse backyard. Secondary patches thrived beside the driveway and in our side yard. Every hot, humid morning I was out early, picking several quarts. Although some went into the freezer for winter fruit salads, we ate most at our meals, either alone or combined with blueberries and huckleberries, depending on whether I had the strength and will to pick both in one day. The word “fruit” comes from the Latin fructus meaning “that which is used or enjoyed,” and we certainly did both with our wild berry crops. I did most of the picking. Occasionally, I was rewarded with more than berries. Once in the patch outside the kitchen door I found a song sparrow nest that contained four greenish-white eggs heavily blotched with brown. While picking blueberries on the powerline right-ofway, a tiny American toad hopped in front of me. Hooded warblers serenaded me as I harvested blackberries on the Far Field Road. With all the bears on our mountain, I was surprised that they left the black raspberries alone and that I never encountered them amidst the blueberry and huckleberry shrubs. No doubt, the incredible abundance of wild berries everywhere on our mountain kept them busy. I, after all, ranged only a mile or so in search of berries, but I knew of other patches on neighboring properties that had as much or more berries than our property and that were not picked by humans. And the bear scat on our trails certainly showed evidence that they were enjoying berries as much as we were. 52 Not only did the wild fruit crops palatable to humans thrive. So, too, did those palatable to birds and other animals, such as the red-berried elder, also called mountain elder. This beautiful, native shrub likes cool, moist, rocky woods and blooms in April. On steep slopes, where deer cannot reach to browse its twigs and foliage, redberried elder thrives, bearing pyramidal clusters of berry-like drupes here by the 16th of June. Our son, Dave, photographed chipmunks eating them, and I have watched rose-breasted grosbeaks gobbling them up. The naturalist-writer Henry David Thoreau once wrote in Faith in a Seed, “If you would study the habits of birds; go where their food is, for example, if it is about the first of September, to the wild black-cherry trees, elder bushes, pokeweed . . . ” The “elder” he meant is the common elder, those shrubs with flat-topped, clusters of small, white flowers that are even more popular wildlife food. By early September, those shrubs inside our 3-acre deer exclosure hung heavy with the umbels of purplish-black, berry-like drupes, and I flushed two ruffed grouse feeding on them. Because common elder blooms long after the last frost — in late June and early July — it always produces a bumper crop of fruit. “Many species of wild birds are attracted to the ‘banquet table,’ which the common elder spreads in the fall,” William Carey Grimm wrote in The Book of Shrubs, such as gray catbirds, American robins, eastern bluebirds, northern cardinals, rose-breasted grosbeaks, eastern towhees, red-bellied woodpeckers, brown thrashers, and wood and hermit thrushes.” But because white-tailed deer browse n its twigs and foliage, the “common” elder has become uncommon in many areas. What the deer don’t eat, the sprayers of roadsides, drainers of swamps, loggers of stream sides, and abolishers of fencerows destroy, because this is a shrub of fencerows and waysides that flourishes in rich, moist GAME NEWS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009
Contents
Hunting Low for High Country Bears
Double Eagle
Life & Times of the Whitetail
What is Public Access?
Fulfilling a Dream
Wild Goose Chase
Hunter Education Celebrates 50
The Old Beech Tree
Handguns for Bushytails
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
Trapper’s Tips
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Life & Times of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Hunting Low for High Country Bears
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Double Eagle
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - What is Public Access?
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Fulfilling a Dream
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Wild Goose Chase
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Hunter Education Celebrates 50
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - The Old Beech Tree
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Handguns for Bushytails
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Trapper’s Tips
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2009 - Cover4
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