Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 54

marks of humans. But each trunk is unique, displaying its history of lost branches on its skyward way. Some patterns look like upside down wide smiles, others like triangles. Large “eyes” keep watch on the world around them. Still others bear mottled marks. Most trunks are reasonably straight, but one beech is bent like a contortionist as it reaches for light under the hemlocks. Another is wrapped from bottom to top by a thick grapevine. If I look closely on the ground beneath the smaller beech trees, I see what, to untutored eyes, looks like dried, branched stems but are, in reality, the remains of beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana). These nonphotosynthetic, flowering parasites on beech roots produce small, tubular, dull magenta and pale brown, insect-pollinated flowers near the ends of their branches that bloom in September and October. But the flowers farther down the branches never open and are self-fertilized. Looking even more closely at the plants, I sometimes see the yellowish, felt-like galls on their tiny leaves constructed by the eriophyid mite (Acalitus fagerinea). Beech trees themselves are wind-pollinated. But those clumps of trees in our hollow are clones that are the result of root sprouts. Even though beech trees thrive in the moist soils of valley bottoms and lower slopes, such as our hollow, a clone of small and medium-size beeches also grows in our upland forest between the spruce grove and the Far Field Road. Because they can reproduce in dense shade, beeches live easily in mature hardwood forests. From long, thin, “cigar-shape” buds, as my botany professor described them, stiff, green leaves emerge along zigzag twigs. At almost the same time, in April and May, male and female flowers bloom. The headshape clusters of beige male flowers dangle from long green stems while the paired female flowers have short stems and onequarter-inch, urn-shape flowers. If all goes well and we don’t have a late
54

spring frost, I will find beechnuts on our driveway in October, after the first autumnal frosts. Beech trees must be at least 40 years old to bear a good crop of nuts, and those 60 or more are the most prolific. Back before the eastern forests had been logged, millions of passenger pigeons fed on nuts from old growth trees. Native Americans also made use of them, extracting their oil for cooking, and pioneers used the oil in their lamps. Native Americans also chewed the nuts to expel worms, while pioneers dried them and roasted them as a coffee substitute. Today, bears leave claw marks on beech bark as they climb them to feed on the nuts. Squirrels, white-tailed deer, white-footed mice, raccoons, rabbits, chipmunks, red and gray foxes, opossums, ruffed grouse, wood ducks, wild turkeys, blue jays, rosebreasted grosbeaks and red-bellied woodpeckers also feed on the sweet, small, triangular-shaped nuts, which are borne in pairs within the 4-valved, prickled husks. The larvae of the early hairstreak butterfly also eat the nuts. The leaves are tasty to a huge number of Lepidoptera caterpillars with charming names such as the spun glass slug, elegant tailed slug, red-eyed button slug, purplecrested slug, the laugher, red-humped oakworm, wavy-lined heterocampa, blinded sphinx, saddled prominent, and the Bruce spanworm, to name a few. The larvae of the more familiar moths — Io, luna, and cecropia — and butterflies — the redspotted purple (which we have by the dozen in the hollow) and the closely related white admiral — also feed on the beech leaves. Leaves were valuable to the pioneers who dried them to stuff in their mattresses. Native Americans boiled leaves and bark to treat frostbite and burns. They also took an herbal decoction orally for bladder, kidney and liver problems. Even the bark was valuable in making an ointment to treat sores and ulcers. Rappahannock Indians steeped the bark in saltwater to make a
GAME NEWS



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011

Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011
Myths & Legends of the Whitetail
Contents
Keeper of the Game in Potter County
Like Father, Like Son
Saying Goodbye
Killing and Betrayal on South Mountain
Memories of a Beech
Junior Varsity Geezers
Knives
The Trapdoor Springfield
Hunting “Horns”
Filer Road Incident
WCO David L. Grove Laid to Rest
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
Fun Game
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Myths & Legends of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Keeper of the Game in Potter County
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Like Father, Like Son
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Saying Goodbye
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Killing and Betrayal on South Mountain
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Memories of a Beech
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Junior Varsity Geezers
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Knives
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - The Trapdoor Springfield
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 28
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Hunting “Horns”
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Filer Road Incident
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - WCO David L. Grove Laid to Rest
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Insert1
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Insert2
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - Feburary 2011 - Cover4
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