Black and White
photography from the Chesapeake Bay watershed by Bill Emory
These geese have gone native, they no longer migrate.
Before European settlement, longleaf pine forest dominated as much as 90,000,000 acres stretching from Virginia south to Florida and west to eastern Texas. That range has been vastly reduced. These are not popular trees with pine plantation folk. This form is called the grass stage. During this stage, which lasts for 5–12 years, vertical growth is very slow, and the tree may take a number of years simply to grow ankle-high.
Longleaf pine takes 100 to 150 years to become full size and may live to be 500 years old. When young, they grow a long taproot, which usually is 2–3 m (6.6–9.8 ft) long; by maturity they have a wide spreading lateral root system with several deep ‘sinker’ roots.–Wikipedia
Herbivores above and below. Last year grackles killed ten of these trees from above. This year I am struggling with the underground denizens. Voles dig under plants, eat the roots until the plant falls over. I make 1′ diameter rat wire collars, buried at ground level. That way the voles have to work harder for their food.
This is a photo in process. Different plant, same species. Three hours after this photo was taken a mole tunnel appeared. Moles are carnivores. Earthworms a major part of their diet. The mole bumped into the wire. My theory is that voles opportunistically run mole tunnels. Just a theory…