This post just brings to light matters which become obvious when calculations are made regarding the number of deposits dogs can make in their lifetimes. It doesn’t discuss dog fouling statistics regarding quantity as would be expected if weight measurements had been taken.
During the 39 years I’ve lived at this house I have seen several frogs and toads passing through the garden. I was never able to say any actually lived here. Well now (6th October 2017) I’ve found a Common Toad hiding behind my shed and living here.
If you have ever tried to give medicine to an animal you’ll appreciate how hard it can be to give dog tablets to a dog. Our dog Leo (a Border Collie) is required to take two worming tablets every three months. These are large as tablets go. Large enough to be shaped like a bone. My wife offered one to him. He sniffed it and walked away.
Why aren’t they supplied inside some meaty treat to encourage a dog to just woof them down?
“I take no responsibility for anyone choosing to eat or use in any way Ceps, Toadstools or Mushrooms of any kind. Not being an authority on Ceps, Toadstools or Mushrooms I do not know if any Cep, Toadstool or Mushroom mentioned on this site is safe to eat or touch. I would advise anyone who touches a Cep, Toadstool or Mushroom to wash their hands afterwards to ensure they don’t go on to contaminate:
food (human or animal),
food preparation surfaces,
any item that will be put in a person or animal’s mouth, e.g. a babies dummy, fork, sweet, chewing gum, cigarette, cigar, pipe, dog chew, dog toy or ball,
any part of a person or animal’s body, e.g. eyes, nose, mucus membranes.”
Once a tree is established it is effectively a living entity growing on a wooden former.
I now wonder if the growing part of a tree can be completely stripped from the wood upon which it grows and made to adhere to, and flourish, on another former: e.g. a concrete or steel frame.
Application – Transferring Trees To Other Formers
Why would anyone want to transfer a tree to alternative formers other than the original wooden trunks they grew on? Maybe to create timber of a particular shape. It would have to be supple enough to be fitted to the new shape, but if it continued to grow it would presumably deposit wood onto that new former as the years progressed and its living fibres died to form new timber underneath. After several years that new timber could be harvested with its desired shape.
I have asked myself for some time, “Are trees parasites that grow on wood? i.e. ectoparasites.” (An ectoparasite lives on the outside of its host.) Mainly this is because only the outer layers of a tree are alive. The inner part of the tree – the wood or timber – is dead. It was alive in previous years but in later years it is only the support for new growth. Consider all the old hollowed out trees: e.g. those hollowed out by wood rot. The outer layers continue to grow year on year. It is only when the outer layers are severed so that sap cannot get up the tree from the outer layers of the roots to the outer layers of the twigs with the leaves attached that the tree dies.
Are Trees Parasites That Grow On Wood?
I Found A Good Example
I have recently seen one of the best examples of tree growth behaving like an ectoparasite on the surface of wood in my local park (Alvaston Park, Derby, UK). You can see it here in these two pictures of a linden tree showing the front and back of the tree.
This one tree has two strips of living bark running up it. The front view shows quite a narrow strip running up it, and the view from behind shows a wider strip. The tree has been truncated at the top by the park keeper at some time.
The Oxford Dictionary describes a parasite as: An organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense. So on the strength of that description a tree is not a parasite since it isn’t taking nutrients from a living host at its expense (unlike mistletoe). The wood is dead.
Are Trees Parasites That Grow On Wood?
I Found Another Example
The picture above (taken 2017-11-06) shows another example. Here the outer layers of an oak tree are supported by the wood of the inner tree which is still standing. A large part of the original tree trunk has broken away in the past. The living part of the oak looks like a parasite on a dead tree.
The red squirrel shown in the featured image was seen in Doxford, Northumberland.
Pine Martens To The Rescue
Apparently predatory martens are saving the red squirrel (see image above) as they are inclined to eat grey squirrels which they find nice and plump. The pine marten can catch the grey because they move slowly. This has been found in a study of red squirrels in Northern Ireland where the pine marten isn’t so rare as first thought.
Spring 2014 is on the way and I want to see goldfinches eating nyjer seed again. So after a wet winter I have cleaned my bird feeders. I’ve only had a Nyjer Seed feeder for two years and have kept it out during both winters. I might not do that next winter since the rain soaks into them through the feeding holes and ruins the Nyjer seeds below the top perches of the feeder. Some start to grow, the rest rot and go mouldy. Any goldfinches that come along can’t eat the seed and in the end it’s just wasted. Above the perches it stays dry so it can be salvaged. In my case I separated the good seed and made sure it was dry by spreading it out on a dustpan in the sunshine.
I completely dismantled my feeders for mixed seed and nyjer seed and washed all the parts in soapy water and then reassembled them when dry.
Fieldfare – Turdus pilaris – a member of the thrush family.
When Fieldfares visited Alvaston Derby I was ready with my camera.
On 22nd January 2013 Fieldfares visited Alvaston Derby where I saw them. First I saw them in my garden and later in a tree overhanging my friend’s garden across the road in the same street. Of course I don’t know that they were the same pair of birds in both gardens.
Fieldfares migrate to England in winter from northern Europe but this was my first sighting of them. It was a bad winter with a fair amount of snow in early 2013 so I’m sure they came looking for food.
What a wonderful experience. I wish I had taken a photo. I looked out of my lounge window and a young goldfinch was resting on my patio within 0.5m of the window. It didn’t attempt to fly off so I went outside. I knelt down on the ground and got within 0.5m of it. It was trying to sleep with its head resting over its back. Its wings were neatly folded so I thought it looked OK and not damaged.