Forest disturbance

forest disturbance

This was the scene in my filing cabinet this morning when I went to try and refresh my memory about old-growth definitions for Brett. Yes, those are acorn shells all over my wilderness, biodiversity, and old-growth files. White-footed mice are not an old-growth species.

Earlier, I had been awoken by a whip-poor-will whip-poor-willing right outside my window at around quarter till five, and never did get back to sleep. Then on my way into the bathroom, I almost stepped on a spirobolid millipede. Ah, nature.

millipede

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

13 Comments


  1. That’s quite a photo! I have a file cabinet full of all kinds of thick files gathered over the years on my random interests. I’m wondering what sort of detritus would set off my labels as humorously as these acorns.

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  2. We had very similar experiences! Stacy and I went camping Sunday and listened to that bird (what is its real name?) whailing (alright, singing) through the evening and well into the night. I fell asleep to his charming call. (The only noise in the forest.) And awoke, as well, to a near death of a millipede. Also had a friendly enounter with an inch worm. And not so friendly encounters with many many flies! (Did I mention our friend Mr. Mouse visiting in our walls lately?)

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  3. Gina – Its real name is, of course, known only to itself, but in English we call it a whip-poor-will, and in Latin, Caprimulgus vociferous – “big-mouthed goatsucker.”

    I’m impressed that you could fall asleep to it.

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  4. seeing the file called “old growth”…reminds me of my unfinished list for the patch at Heart’s Content. Is there a copy in there?

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  5. It sounded to me like he was saying “potoourri” – and I think there was actually two of them going back and forth. That night was the first time I had ever heard that bird before. I thought I wouldn’t be able to fall alseep, especially since I had a headache. But I have the (luck?) that I can fall asleep just about anywhere in any position when I am tired. Whip-or-will or no whip-or-will.

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  6. Wait a second: you mean that mice actually brought those acorns into your filing cabinet in order to eat them there and then left the files alone? Or am I being too literal?

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  7. I like to eat while I read, too.

    But I don’t like to hold even elegant and curled-up millipedes. Nope, not me.

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  8. the sylph – Nope, you lost that all on your own.

    Gina Marie – I like “Potpourri” (sp.?) better. You’re lucky to be such a deep sleeper. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in close to a week.

    Natalie – Well, they might’ve chewed on some of the files, too, if they were looking for bedding, but this isn’t a nest, it’s a nut cache.

    marly – But millipedes are harmless and almost cute — nothing like centipedes!

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  9. Last week I found a handful of cracked sunflower seeds in each of my summer shoes, and more stashed under the pillows in the spare bedroom–snacks stored ready-to-eat.

    When I play the concertina upstairs, and then stop, sometimes I can hear the mice squeaking in the walls. I’ve never been sure whether they were applauding, or crying in pain.

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  10. Rebecca – Yeah, they like shoes. Under the covers of the bed in the guest bedroom is a good place, too.

    How do they react when you play your banjo?

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  11. Dave,

    Alas for that elegant black spiral, I prefer not to have much truck with Things With Too Many Legs.

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