Not long ago, Naturalist Charlie Browne and I walked along a trail in Williston that looked quite a bit different from the last time we had visited! There were several large trees down across the trails! But, as Charlie pointed out, that provided some opportunities in the woods as well.
"Wow, Charlie remember the last time we were on these trails? It looked a little different! Obviously some straight line wind damage from a big storm took down these huge trees."
"Lots of trees are down here, but look what it's done. It's opened up the sky, so that even though these trees are down, there's a lot of new sunlight pouring in that these trees were using and it's releasing plants that have been sitting here dormant, waiting for that to happen. So you have lots of ferns that are looking very healthy, you have young maples coming in, there are also young oak trees coming in."
"And some wildflowers that maybe didn't have a chance before."
"And even some wildflowers, that's right. So what happens when something like this apparently natural disaster occurs is that nature recovers. We're seeing that process going on right here, right now after probably a year or two of new growth. "
"So if you have something like this happen in the woods on your property, you don't have to come in and clean it up?"
"You can, one opportunity might be to salvage the good logs that are here, and use them while they are still relatively healthy. But you don't have to. If these trees and logs that are down here are left long enough, they will help to restore the soil here and they'll provide good habitat over time for lots of kinds of birds and insects and mammals, so this is habitat being restored even though it's in transition right now. "
"Nature will take care of it in time."
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