Hi, my name is Ellen Luedloff I’m 21 and am entering my first year of pro-school. This is my first summer interning with Starker, I have never worked in the forestry field before and am very excited to learn useful skills and knowledge to help me in the future.
In my free time I love to read, hike, camp, and snowboard in the winter. I like to take every opportunity to get outside and to be able to find a career that lets me do that is a dream come true.
Here are a few of my experiences and finds over the last few weeks:
Today while cruising, I found these bear marks in a tree near a stream. We found evidence of a bear living in the unit we were working in, lots of crushed berry bushes and bear dung. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find the bear but these claw marks are the next best thing. Make sure when out hiking, if you do come across bear marks or the bear itself, make lots of noise (black bears don’t like being surprised) so they know you are there and leave the area. The forest is their home, we just visit occasionally.
Today we found an older large stump with springboard marks in it. These marks are left from the last time this tree farm was logged around the 1940s/’50s. Loggers would cut these marks into the bole of the tree to hold springboards which they would stand on to cut the tree higher above the ground.
These pictures show a tree that was about 70 inches in diameter! The tree is residual overstory that was left when the area was logged making it way bigger than the other trees in this unit and is the biggest tree I’ve measured so far. Due to its size, it is over 100 years old.
To get the ages of the trees we use a boring device that drills into the tree and allows us to take out a small column from the trunk. We are able to count the number of rings and age the tree without harming it.
When I first saw this, I thought it was a type of fungus but it is actually a flower! Indian Pipe Flower to be exact. Unlike other plants it does not contain chlorophyll, making it white rather than green, this allows it to grow in darker areas of the forest.
*More to come as the days go by.