Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64

"S

MOKY GOLD" is how Aldo Leopold described the autumn color of the
tamarack in his book, A Sand County Almanac. Tamaracks (also called
larches) occur naturally as far south as Pennsylvania. They're especially noticeable
in autumn, when their needles gradually take on that splendid golden glow.
Tamaracks grow mainly in wet areas. In winter, it's easy to overlook them.
With their inch-long needles absent, the trees stand skeletal and bare; they look
dead, somehow even more so than the winter-bare hardwoods. The crown of a
tamarack is a pyramid of warty twigs hovering insubstantially above the tree's
scaly, red-brown trunk.
In spring, it takes up to six weeks for a tamarack to grow all of its needles,
which sprout in fountain-like clusters on the twigs. At first, the
needles are a tender greenish gold. As summer lengthens,
they become a frosty bluish-green. And in autumn, after
the hardwoods have flared with color and dropped their
faded glory, the gold of the tamaracks provide the last
brightness before browns and grays dominate the land.
Why does the tamarack, alone among our native
conifers, go to the biological expense of shedding in autumn
all of the needles that the tree grew only six months earlier? Broad-leaved trees
drop their leaves to prevent the build-up of snow and ice, and to conserve water
during winter. Other conifers, such as the spruces, avoid winter damage through
the strength and elasticity of their branches; they need not shed their needles to
conserve water because the needles are already adapted to retain that precious
fluid.
The fossil record suggests that millions of years ago, trees similar to tamaracks
grew at very high latitudes, including north of the Arctic Circle, where no
trees currently survive. Back then, the earth's poles were not frozen, and the
planet was much warmer than it is today. Winters might have been balmy, but
the polar nights were dark and long. There was no reason for a tree to hang on
to its foliage - to use precious resources keeping those tissues alive through a
prolonged period of darkness, when the needles could return nothing to the tree
from photosynthesis. Paleobotanists believe those ancestral tamaracks evolved
to shed their useless foliage as the days shortened in autumn, and then grow
new needles when the sun reappeared and strengthened in spring. Later, as the
climate cooled, the trees retreated southward, keeping the leaf-shedding trait.
Thinking about the tamarack's evolutionary path adds interest to a winter's
snowshoe outing, when I look up at the trees' dead-looking crowns and try
to imagine the pale new needles that will dress those
branches in spring.

64

WWW.PENNGAMENEWS.COM


http://WWW.PENNGAMENEWS.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 2
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64a
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - 64b
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - February 2014 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pa_huntingdigest1516
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pa_huntingdigest1415
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201202
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201201
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201105
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201104
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201103
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201101
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201007
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201005
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201004
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201002
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_201001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/annualreport2008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pgc/pagamenews_200809
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com